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Full Version: Pitino pulls out!
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per ESPN.com...

Rick Pitino, who last year was courted by Nevada-Las Vegas before taking the coaching job at Louisville, has pulled the Cardinals out of a December game against the Runnin' Rebels.

UNLV was scheduled to play Louisville on Dec. 21 in the ESPN-televised Las Vegas Showdown at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Pitino's decision to cancel has left UNLV officials and ESPN scrambling to find a replacement at a time when most teams have completed their schedules.

"I think UNLV is an outstanding program," Pitino said in a statement released through Louisville's sports information office. "But at the present time, we prefer to play teams in areas that can help in our recruiting process."

Pitino added that he hopes to play UNLV in the future.

Jerry Koloskie, UNLV senior ***ociate athletic director, said Louisville will have to pay $50,000 to opt out of the two-game home-and-home deal.

The series originally was scheduled to begin last season, but was pushed back at Pitino's request. He flirted with the idea of taking the Las Vegas job before signing on to coach Louisville in March 2001.

"Everybody does what's best for their program," Runnin' Rebels coach Charlie Spoonhour said. "It would've been a nice draw, but hopefully we'll find another suitable opponent."

<small>[ May 13, 2002, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: JoltinJacket ]</small>
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