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Rick Pitino Announces Decision On Maryland: Fans React

Rick Pitino makes a funny face as he coaches against Arizona.

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 27: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals against the Arizona Wildcats during the third round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Louisville won 103-64. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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.