After a tough 75-73 loss to Kentucky in Rupp Arena, Louisville coach Rick Pitino let Ralph Willard handle a majority of the postgame media responsibilities and was filmed making a dismissmive gesture to fans as he left the court.
In the immediate aftermath, the video began to circulate on the Internet with the accusation that Pitino has raised his middle finger to the crowd.
That was not the case, according to Pitino.
“No I didn’t flip off the fans,” Pitino told ESPN.com’s Dana O’Neil in a text message after the game. “I was in the tunnel. People were yelling ugly crude things that I didn’t like. The 1-8 comment [Pitino’s record against Kentucky coach John Calipari] was fine. But the other comments I didn’t like.”
Pitino told O’Neil that his hand gesture, as he recalled, was a “we’re No. 1” gesture.
Here is the footage which shows Pitino’s gesture to the fans, via Kentucy fan Seiver Tandy.
I got Rick flipping off UK fans on video @KySportsRadio pic.twitter.com/VPgUbRGM9H
— Seiver Tandy (@Fine_and_Tandy) December 26, 2015