Under-pressure Pitino: 'We've got to get this right'

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 file photo, Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino, left, smiles at his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Seattle in Minneapolis. With concern expressed by the university president and a new athletic director now in place at Minnesota, head coach Richard Pitino is under pressure to restore the Gophers men's basketball program to respectability off and on the court. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)
Ann Heisenfelt/AP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Richard Pitino's fourth year as the coach at Minnesota has come with significant pressure to pull up the floundering men's basketball program from the bottom of the Big Ten and help put an end to the off-the-court problems.

With a new athletic director in place and the university president's public concern about Gophers players repeatedly getting in trouble, he has begun a make-or-break season.

Pitino said in an interview Thursday that he realizes he's ''not the most popular guy'' around town after the team posted an 8-23 record. Three guards were suspended for the final four games because of a sex video that appeared on one's social media accounts.

Another player, Reggie Lynch, was jailed this week on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct before being released without charges filed.