LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In the second half of Pitt’s 77-51 loss to Louisville on Tuesday, Panthers head coach Kevin Stallings responded to a heckler in the Louisville crowd with a reference to the ongoing FBI fraud investigation that caused the firing of former Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino and the ineligibility of Louisville freshman Brian Bowen.
“At least we didn’t pay our kids $100,000,” Stallings said, according to Lyndsey Gough of Spectrum Sports, who was seated adjacent to the Pitt bench at KFC Yum! Center.
Stallings didn’t confirm his exact words, but acknowledged the exchange with a fan, and said his response was in defense of his players.
“Somebody said something bad about my players, and so, I’m just going to stick up for my players,” Stallings said. “I probably said the wrong thing, but I’m not going to let people talk crap about my players. We’re down. The game’s over with. You don’t need to insult kids that are out there fighting hard and trying to do their best. So, like I said, I probably should have chosen some different words, but I’m not going to let people take shots at our players.”
Stallings declined to elaborate on what was said that prompted the exchange. Pitt players Marcus Carr and Parker Stewart also did not reveal any specifics about fan mistreatment during the game.
Here are Stallings’ full post-game remarks: