Your article on Rick Pitino was full of passion, just like his coaching.
JANE GRIGGS, MORGANFIELD, KY.
My thanks to William Nack for his poignant article on Kentucky coach Rick Pitino (Full-Court Pressure, Feb. 26). I grew up in Kentucky, and I believe that Pitino has done more than simply carry on the basketball tradition in my home state; he has set a new, improved standard. Nack's article brought tears to my eyes when I read about Pitino's drive and vigor. Thank you for showing an up-close, personal side of the greatest coach in basketball.
TERESA KERN, Alexandria, Va.
Nack's article moved me so much that I had to read it out loud to my wife before she left for work. She started out the door with tears in her eyes, scolding me for ruining her makeup and thanking me for sharing the story with her.
JOE MOSCO, Astoria, N.Y.
Nack has supposedly shown us the real Rick Pitino, but in fact we got the man Nack made him out to be. Nowhere in the 12-page article did Nack mention the many thousands of dollars Pitino has raised for charity during his own, very limited free time. And nowhere is mentioned the Owensboro, Ky., homeless shelter that Pitino founded and maintains.
A well-balanced portrait of an ambitious, driven, successful coach who also finds time to do charity work and sustain loyal friendships with former players and assistants would have been what I expected from SI. Instead we got a one-dimensional depiction of Rick Pitino that resembled a tabloid story.
CINDY HOUSTON, Nashville
After reading the story on our basketball coach, Rick Pitino, I feel compelled to point out a few things about the man. Perhaps Rick has missed many of life's pleasures in his quest to be the best, but he has not sacrificed his family or friends in the process, as the article would lead one to believe. Anyone who truly knows Rick and Joanne Pitino can see that they have a strong marriage built on deep love for and understanding of one another. It is amazing to me that a reporter who spent so much time and talked to so many people in researching the story could miss those facts.
I also take issue with SI's attempt to depict Rick as some sort of deranged madman by using illustrations instead of photographs. Was that because the photographs you took represented the true man, not the man that SI wanted its readers to see?
C.M. NEWTON, Athletics Director
University of Kentucky Lexington, Ky.
How could you? How could you portray a man like Rick Pitino in such a way? Where did you find that illustrator, under a rock? You surely did not do Pitino justice.
JULIA STAMPER, Versailles, Ky.
How dare you portray Rick Pitino as a madman! Yes, we in Kentucky put him on a pedestal, just as we put all our other basketball heroes on pedestals. Pitino has already led us to the "promised land." I would say that four SEC championships in a row is quite an accomplishment.
LYNDA CHASE, Richmond, Ky.
All I think of when I hear the name Rick Pitino is his making a five-year commitment to Providence College and then, only weeks later, turning his back on the Friars to go to the Knicks. He is an excellent coach, but by no means is he the hero you have made him out to be.
DAVID ASTBURY, Providence