On College Basketball: Louisville’s Rick Pitino Claims Dominion, Except When Scandal Hits

Rick Pitino arriving for a news conference in which he and Louisville officials discussed the N.C.A.A. charges against both him and the men’s basketball program.

Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

Successfully coaching any sport at any level requires a talent for managing players, but many of the country’s best college basketball coaches are particularly renowned control freaks. They must ensure that their athletes get decent grades. During games their chairs seem ornamental, so often are they on their feet, and they rarely allow their squads a single offensive possession without specifically instructing the point guard on how to run it.

Rick Pitino is no exception. He paces along the sideline, shouts out open men on the opposing team, calls out plays. In between, he crosses his arms and stands bolt upright, like a computer scientist confident he has just entered a line of unimpeachable code.

Pitino struggled in brief forays in the N.B.A., but he has reached the Final Four with three college teams and has won national titles at his last two stops, Kentucky and…

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