Pitino did a good job coaching the Knicks in the late 80s.
Building a team from the bottom up in the NBA is a crap shoot. Pitino was a poor GM with the Celtics, and probably unlucky, too.
Calipari had one crack at the NBA. He blew it. Give him the Cavs, as rumored a couple of years ago, and he'd probably look like a genius.
College coaches get to pick the groceries. Pied pipers like Pitino and Calipari know how to sell. They also coach at schools that value basketball success above all else.
They're both very good at what they do. I think that's beyond dispute.
We can all hold our noses when we watch them do it because they operate under a different set of rules and they do things we'd never tolerate at ND (or at least we'd like to think so). But that's a moral judgment, not a basketball judgment.