Romeo Langford decided to stay in his home state and committed to Indiana on April 30. Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino thinks the recruitment of one of the best players in the country would have ended differently if he was still the coach of the Cardinals.
“In my opinion, we were going to get Romeo Langford,” Pitino said Wednesday on the Ramsey and Rutherford show, hosted by John Ramsey and Mike Rutherford on 790 KRD. “We were the leader.”
Pitino opted to answer questions after The Washington Post’s Will Hobson published a story about the Langford family and its ties to the apparel program Adidas. The story came to be after Pitino shared e-mails and text messages with Hobson.
“The shoe companies buy the AAU franchise,” Pitino said. “They can pay (the AAU teams) whatever they want to pay them. They can pay them $200,000. They can pay them $20,000. That’s up to them.
“I don’t know what they were paying Langford’s AAU team (Twenty Two Vision). I have no idea. Apparently the head of the AAU team got the money. I don’t know how much it was. I don’t know anything about it. I think it was all above board. I think it was all legal.”
Pitino added that he was impressed with the way Langford’s parents handled the recruiting process, saying it was “one of the most honest recruitments I’ve seen.”
“His mom and dad handled recruiting better than any people I’ve seen,” Pitino said. “You weren’t allowed to talk to Romeo. They kept everything under wraps. They wanted to make sure nobody cheated, nobody did anything wrong as far as their son.”
Langford ranks as the sixth-best player in the country, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. He chose Indiana over Kansas, another Adidas school, and Vanderbilt, a Nike school.
Louisville has actively searched for guards since the arrival of Chris Mack, but Langford was never really an option after the FBI probe into college basketball and its aftermath that forced the Louisville program to rebuild.