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Richard Pitino denies interest in UNLV job

The instant that Dave Rice was relieved from his post as head coach of the Runnin’ Rebels, the replacement rumor mill started to run rampant, even suggesting Rick Pitino would be interested in leaving Louisville.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, amid the constant speculation as to whom the next head coach of the Runnin' Rebels might be, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Louisville's Rick Pitino could be interested in taking the job.

This was based on information from a source who believed that Pitino wanted to distance himself from the scandal that occurred at Louisville, but would also want to bring his son, Richard Pitino, the current head coach at University of Minnesota, on-board and set him up us as the coach in waiting.

Both Rick and Richard were asked by the media about the rumors, with the Rick refusing to even address the question, seen here.  However, Richard Pitino answered the question about the rumors very bluntly.

"Zero truth."

The younger Pitino went on to detail why he wouldn't be interested in the job, specifically stating, "I've done three years of hard time working for him, I don't want to go back to that".

What do his statements mean or how much truth is there to them?  At this point it's impossible to tell.

On the surface, it looks as though he would have zero interest in that type of arrangement with his father.  However, due to the fact that he is currently a head coach, he has to deny these rumors regardless of what the truth might be.

Any type of statement that might confirm the rumors would hurt his support with the administration, but even worse, would send a message to the players that their coach isn't fully invested in the team.  With two to three months of basketball left to be played neither Pitino can risk losing their respective locker rooms.

For UNLV fans the speculation and the rumors will continue to run wild, though none will likely trump the thought of Rick Pitino pacing the sidelines of the Thomas & Mack.