Coach P.

Coach Rick Pitino

Off the Court: Last week, we discussed the book, “Breaking the Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” in which Katina Powell alleges she and her service were hired to entertain recruits for the Louisville Cardinals basketball team.

This week, at the tipoff luncheon, coach Rick Pitino addressed the situation, says CBS Sports, ESPN and NBC Sports (AP).

For his part, Pitino echoed his comments last week, that his program is of such a caliber, that these kinds of incentives simply aren’t needed to attract the best talent.

“So I always figure out, when times get tough, the ‘why’ element. I know the other side of the story, I know why they’re coming out with a book and I know exactly why. On our end of the thing, I don’t get the why. It doesn’t make any sense.”

“We will find the truth, whatever that may be, and people will pay the price for any wrongdoing that might occur. I know the why’s from the other end. Don’t know the why’s from our end. Still can’t figure it out. No matter how little sleep I get, no matter how much my mind wanders at night, I know what the University of Louisville is all about. I know what Tom Jurich is all about. And without praising myself, when it comes to NCAA rules, I know what I’m all about.”

Here’s his full 18-minute speech:

After we ran this story last week, the question I was most often asked: “Do you think Rick Pitino knew this was happening? Is there any way he could have not known?”

I understand that’s actually two questions.

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Mike Cronin doesn’t think Pitino knew, says Sporting News:

“For anyone to insinuate that Rick Pitino knew about this is beyond ridiculous. If anybody did something on that staff that they shouldn’t have done with this, they would have taken great, great lengths that he didn’t know. He makes it very clear that he wants you to operate within the rules. That is his expectation for his staff members.”

“Why do you think athletic directors are so comfortable hiring someone from Rick Pitino? He was hired to clean up a program that was almost given the death penalty. When you hire someone from Rick Pitino, you’re hiring someone that follows the rules and has a tremendous work ethic. That’s how things are done under him.”

And he gets even more support, says Sporting News and FOX Sports (AP), from down the I-64 corridor from Kentucky coach John Calipari.

“It’s not the norm, and I would say this: If any of it is (true), I can’t believe (Pitino) would know anything about it just knowing him as I do.”

CBS Sports asks whether Pitino should be fired if the allegations prove true. Their panelists come in with a “no,” a “yes,” and a “maybe.” So that settles that.

The new sign is painted on the building and outlined in lights.

Le Moo

 Eight is Enough: Our friends at Thrillist have done you a favor and compiled “Louisville’s 8 Hottest New Restaurant Openings.”

Here’s your list:

  • Over the 9, Downtown
  • Epic Sammich Co., Highlands
  • Fontleroy’s, Highlands
  • Galaxie Bar, NuLu
  • America. The Diner., Highlands
  • Joella’s Hot Chicken, Crescent Hill
  • Le Moo, Grinstead Drive
  • Mesh, Indian Hills

Well, OK, Highlands. You’re clearly still the place to be, at least where my belly is concerned. Three of the eight on the list and really, most would consider Le Moo to be Highlands, so that’s half the list. Take one away because I simply can’t abide an establishment entitled or serving “sammich” and we’re back down to three, but still impressive.

I’m sure it’s a lovely place. We all have our idiosyncrasies and peculiarities; a lot of mine have to do with language. I can sit without so much as a flinch at your nails on a chalkboard, but use the word “veggie” in a sentence and it’s like a punch in the ear

So there’s a few weeks worth of date nights for you, Louisville. If you go or have a favorite not on Thrillist’s list, shout back and let me know what you think.


Jennifer Lawrence

Fair Play; Fair Pay: This week, your girl Jennifer Lawrence once again captured all of the Internet with an essay entitled: “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars. Penned for Lenny, the newsletter from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, Lawrence explores the role her desire to be likable has played in her negotiations and whether that is something women consider more than their male counterparts.

Coverage is coming from every Internet site in existence, but here are links to USA Today, NPR, The Washington Post, CNN, The Atlantic, The New York Times, TIME, BBC, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone,

You can read the full essay at Lenny, but I’ve pulled an excerpt for you:

It’s hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren’t exactly relatable. When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me).

But if I’m honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.” At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled.” This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But this is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way?

Do you think “I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me” is a self-aware play on the need to be liked or part of the underlying need coming through even in an essay decrying the quest for likability?

But to her not-entirely-rhetorical question: “Are we socially conditioned to behave this way?”

Business Insider says “yes,” quoting the research of NYU’s Madeline Heilman. From Business Insider:

…women’s career advancements are often impeded by two kinds of gender stereotypes:

Descriptive stereotypes attribute certain characteristics to women, like “caring,” “warm,” “modest,” and “emotional.” This creates problems, Heilman says, when there’s a disconnect between what women are perceived to be like and what attributes are necessary to successfully perform in male gender-typed roles.

Prescriptive gender stereotypes designate what women and men should be like. With this kind of stereotyping, women are disapproved of and punished socially when they directly or seemingly violate the prescribed ways they should act.

And then there’s this:

After analyzing more than 248 performance reviews last year, Kieran Snyder wrote in Fortune, “negative personality criticism — watch your tone! step back! stop being so judgmental! — shows up twice in the 83 critical reviews received by men. It shows up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women.

And this famous question from the 2008 Democratic Presidential debate:

Much was made of then-candidate Barack Obama’s “you’re likeable enough…” response, but what’s the question doing there in the first place?

To be fair, the election prior, one of the questions bandied about was “Which candidate would you rather have a beer with: President Bush or Senator Kerry?” A shade of the same question, maybe, but there’s a distinction in the directness.

The Harvard Business Review posted a review of the issue back in 2003 with its piece: “Nice Girls Don’t Ask.”

Women are less likely than men to negotiate for themselves for several reasons. First, they often are socialized from an early age not to promote their own interests and to focus instead on the needs of others. The messages girls receive—from parents, teachers, other children, the media, and society in general—can be so powerful that when they grow up they may not realize that they’ve internalized this behavior, or they may realize it but not understand how it affects their willingness to negotiate. Women tend to assume that they will be recognized and rewarded for working hard and doing a good job. Unlike men, they haven’t been taught that they can ask for more.

Second, many companies’ cultures penalize women when they do ask—further discouraging them from doing so. Women who assertively pursue their own ambitions and promote their own interests may be labeled as bitchy or pushy. They frequently see their work devalued and find themselves ostracized or excluded from access to important information. These responses from women’s colleagues and supervisors may not be conscious or part of any concerted effort to “hold women back.” More typically, they’re a product of society’s ingrained expectations about how women should act.

But enough of all the empirical whatever — what do her fellow celebrities think?

While some headlines suggest the essay has “touched a nerve,” most of — if not all — the response has been agreement. So a nerve of solidarity, says Salon.

Gwyneth Paltrow calls the essay “very brave,” says Entertainment Tonight.

Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska voiced their support, according to Variety.

TIME and MTV look at Emma Watson’s backing in particular and in depth. Here’s Emma on Twitter:

Watson Tweets

Latin Post, GQ, takes a look at Bradley Cooper, one of the stars at one time making more than Lawrence. He’s onboard in principle, though he’d not read the actual piece at the time when people were hounding him for his thoughts on it. That taken from an interview with the loathed E!

People will see your Bradley Cooper and Emma Watson, and add Sienna Miller to the list.

Entertainment Weekly will see your Cooper, Miller and Watson and raise you a Mark Ruffalo, Elizabeth Banks and Daphne Zuniga.

Meanwhile, Teen Vogue has a collection of stars who modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch before they were famous. Among them: your girl, Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift, and whoever that guy is in the middle.


That Taylor Swift image is like a prescient portrait of her first couple of albums. Like someone looked at the photo and said, “Yeah, that look. Just, I don’t know, sing that.”

Speaking of, it’s been awhile since we’ve shared some musical anything and I spent last weekend with Ryan Adams and his remake of Taylor Swift’s “1989” album.

The New Yorker and Pitchfork say we’re not supposed to like it all that much, and to be sure, not all of it works. I’m looking at you, “Shake It Off.”But I think it has a charm. And he’s sincere in his affection for his material, unlike every other pop-punk band ironically covering “Baby One More Time” once upon a time in the ’90s.

So I’ll leave it here for you this weekend. Here he is doing “Blank Space” on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”:

If it’s not to your liking, I’ll give you this performance of his classic cover of Oasis’s “Wonderwall” that’s so good, when it first came out, Oasis changed the way they played the song.

And if that’s not to your liking, I don’t know how to help you this week. But Daphne Zuniga recommends Sam Smith and Coldplay.

See you next week.