The beginning of this post will sound very similar to one over at The Big Lead by Stephen Douglas, but who’s to say two people in the same field cannot share the same thoughts. After reading Rick Pitino’s “quote” on social media this morning I became immediately charged. Who does the coach think he is?
Stop reading Twitter, start paying attention to what really matters: unpaid teenagers playing a game on television. pic.twitter.com/IT6gLElrAs
— Brian Phillips (@runofplay) February 18, 2014
I use social media. I’m in sports (if media counts). I’ve never considered myself a part of “the great class of underachievers.” Rick Pitino is going to sit here and preach to me about ethics, and how to spend my time, and then condemn social media (which I hate, by the way, but is a large part of my job)? Time to rip him a new one.
But then, just like Douglas, I decided to seek out the full interview. You know, to really get the facts and attack the totality of his argument. And a funny thing happened on the way to the firing squad: it turns out Pitino was quoted out of context. He’s actually not a completely out-of-touch buffoon. He actually makes sense.
You see, Pitino was talking about his players spending time on Twitter and Facebook rather than practicing. He was responding to all the negativity and jackass fans who write racial slurs to his athletes following games. Pitino was calling the hate-mongerers underachievers. He finds it unhealthy for players to read all the negativity from people with liquid courage sitting behind a computer screen. Hard to argue with that, right?
Do yourself a favor and fast forward to the 7-minute mark in the below video. You’ll get the full context of his quote. He even says – gasp – that he’s not against certain facets of social media, just the time wasted from reading ignorant comments.
Pitino has gone on record in the past with his dislike of certain aspects of social media, so this stance is nothing new. In October of 2013 he spoke with Rush Limbaugh on the trappings of the Internet.
I talk about the trap of technology. My players admitted the other day that they spend a minimum — now, they’re gonna understate their hours to me. I said, “How much do you deal with social media per day?” They said four hours each, one person said the whole day. I said, “Could you imagine if you took two of those hours and got in the gym and worked on your trade, how good you would be?” Four hours, and none of it impacted anyone’s lives. It was wasting time.
Imagine that, a coach who would rather his players read or practice than sit at a computer desk. What a dick.
To sum up: Rick Pitino doesn’t hate the Internet or social media. He hates time-wasting activities (which, for this generation, tends to be social media) that keep players from improving their minds and bodies.
So thank you web for trying to take a dump on Pitino, while in turn proving his point. Thank you for wasting my time in researching and writing. And thank you for trying to grab a quick click and cheapen what some of us actually give a damn about: the truth. Damn these ethics; lies and smut are so much quicker to turn out.