LOOK: Ex-Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim eat lunch together at Varsity Pizza
The old ACC rivals broke bread over what surely must have been a fascinating conversation
If you thoughtsignaled the end of his longstanding rivalry with Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, you are sadly mistaken.
The two Hall of Famers, who coached against one another for more than a decade in the ACC and famously squared off in the 1996 national championship game when Pitino was at Kentucky, were seen together on Tuesday. Not on opposing sidelines, and not facing off in a competition (unless they were going full Joey Chestnut), but breaking bread over a lunch at Syracuse institution Varsity Pizza.
Despite their long history of facing off against one another, Boeheim has come to Pitino's defense while he's been scrutinized over allegations of cheating while at Louisville. The two are longtime friends and colleagues, and Boeheim hasn't been shy speaking up for the now-former Louisville coach.
"I think he'll be cleared of this thing completely, 100 percent," Boeheim said of the allegations levied against Pitino after his firing last October. "They [Louisville] didn't think about this, there was no thought process about it."
Pitino worked under Boeheim as an assistant at Syracuse in the late 1970s, so the Syracuse Hall of Famer has an emotional investment in Pitino that goes way back. Nonetheless, he's merely siding with Pitino in the wake of his firing, as he's maintained his innocence in both the sex scandal and the Brian Bowen scandal, the latter of which figured to be the final straw of his coaching career with Louisville.
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