Pitino challenges son to game over WWE match


Rick Pitino is back in coaching, and he’s already ready to “wrestle” with his son’s team.

The new Iona coach tweeted out a challenge: If Brock Lesnar beats Drew McIntyre in their championship bout airing Sunday during WrestleMania 36, Richard Pitino’s Minnesota team will play at Iona. If McIntyre wins, Iona will play at Minnesota.

Richard Pitino tweeted back that he can’t root against Lesnar since he wrestled at the University of Minnesota. He said that if the terms were reversed, he was in. His dad has yet to respond.

WrestleMania 36 was scheduled to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, but the coronavirus pandemic stopped that. The Lesnar-McIntyre match took place at WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, without a crowd. It was taped earlier this week — before Florida issued a stay-at-home order — and will be shown on the pay-per-view Sunday night.

WWE is one of the only sporting events taking place during the pandemic.

Rick Pitino, 67, was named Iona’s coach last month. The 67-year-old hasn’t coached in college since October 2017, when Louisville fired him after an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball. The NCAA has not announced penalties for any of the programs connected to the FBI investigation, but the expectation is they could come down sometime this spring or summer. It’s unclear whether there will be any penalties handed down to Pitino.

Richard Pitino has coached Minnesota since 2013. The Gophers made it to the round of 32 in 2018-19 — his best NCAA tournament showing — but slipped to 15-16 this past season.

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