When Rick Pitino returned to college hoops and became Iona's head coach, it was believed it'd only be a matter of time before he was hired by a premier program. But it appears he's not quite ready to leave the Gaels and make the jump - at least not yet.
On Wednesday, The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan reported Maryland is "heavily pursuing" Rick Pitino to be the program's next head coach. In fact, he's the Terrapins' "top choice" according to the report.
However, Pitino shot down the speculation on Thursday morning and expressed his commitment to Iona. He also made it clear he's not going to be Maryland's next head basketball coach.
"The University of Maryland is one of the premier institutions of higher learning," Pitino tweeted. "It's basketball program can be among the nation’s best. I hope they find the next great Gary Williams. I love coaching at Iona, and I’m totally committed to my players. It will not be me."
Fans aren't exactly buying Rick Pitino's statement.
"Rick’s going to Maryland, y’all," a fan tweeted.
"Pitino to MD confirmed. Fantastic smokescreen, Rick!," another fan wrote.
Maryland fans, meanwhile, are disappointed with Pitino's latest tweet. They clearly want him in College Park.
"It feels wrong to be disappointed that Pitino isn't coming to College Park," a fan said.
Is this all a smokescreen? Will Rick Pitino leave Iona for Maryland at season's end? There's plenty of smoke, that's for sure.