Lots of people doing weird things in connection with the Rick Pitino-Karen Sypher affair. An unpredictable mix of local luminaries and loonies caught up in the soap opera, sometimes making it difficult to identify the good guys from the bad one day to the next.

The recent release of the police interview with Pitino confirms what many wanted to deny, that it was indeed a sex scandal, and it will continue to tarnish and embarrass anyone even remotely involved.

The effect of the mistakes will continue to compound for the cast of characters for different reasons:

  • Rick Pitino:  Ever getting within 10 feet of Karen Sypher.
  • Karen Sypher: Still making new demands and accusations six years later.
  • Tim Sypher:  Marrying the woman after she had an affair with his boss
  • Lester Goetzinger: The Sypher friend making alleged threatening calls to the Louisville coach.
  • Dana Kolter:  The ju jitsu instructor/divorce attorney allegedly presenting Sypher’s financial terms to Pitino.
  • Thomas Clay:  Respected local attorney briefly representing Sypher, getting out while the getting was good.
  • Steve Pence: The attorney representing Pitino in a sordid case that will not be a good thing if he intends to be taken seriously as a candidate to replace Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.
  • University of Louisville fans: Wanting to believe in Pitino.

The observer doesn’t believe this is the scenario the Keep Louisville Weird promoters had in mind when they launched the marketing program.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

12 thoughts on “Keeping Louisville Weird”
  1. As of late – I do wonder who Rick Pitino’s friend’s are?
    A likely candidate is his wife Joanne, Coach Donovan and Ralph Willard.
    I say this because Pitino’s appears to be reaching…
    Reaching in defining himself with hum let’s see the word I am looking for is … ah! Integrity. – Maybe?

    His son Richard is working with Donovan. A good family fit allowing Richard some much-needed space from his dad’s grip. Donovan has been close to the family
    but certainly not from the same mold.

    Then we have Coach Willard who sits at the right hand of Pitino for the Cards.
    The price was steep. Willard’s salary is the highest ever for U of L assistant.
    Way to go Ralph!

    Pitino a master of media focus with Armani suits and quips of family gatherings with great food. Seems to have lost a few spokes from his media wheel in 2009.

    Cruising in at 57 years old, adorning a white suit with a federal investigation crowning March Madness had Coach Pitino looking more like a master of ceremonies of a 3 Ring Circus than a U of L athletic representative.

    Pitino needs to publicly apologize to his wife and U of L for his behavior.
    –Come on Rick- grow up!

  2. C’mon, now…is anyone truly that shocked that consensual sex was involved? Was ANYONE really thinking that there wasn’t sex involved somewhere along the line?

    This has been rumored about Pitino since AT LEAST his 90’s yrs at UK.

    Frankly– anyone half aware had heard rumors here in Louisville over the last few yrs too.

    Do I condone affairs? No.

    Do I think it’s bad for recruiting. Probably.

    Do I think it’s time to get out your pitchforks? Hardly….

    1. Not one to put much stock in rumors because they are as often wrong as they are right. Rumors, speculations and projections are not facts. Whatever, his behavior can’t be good for the sale of leadership and success books.

    2. Frank, the disappointment comes from Pitino being the person who has associated the university’s name with his sordid actions, not just another case of consensual sex.

  3. A quick question for naysayers. How does consentual sex with a person make something sordid? Before commenting perhaps we should all know whether or not his wife knew and/or approved of this relationship and how deep any “betrayal” may be.

    1. At least half the world believes extramarital sex is not good, whether it is consensual or not. Then there are all of the children involved. The issue of the wife’s approval is rather silly don’t you think?

  4. Glenn,

    I fully understand where the disappointment comes from–I’m 55 yrs old and been to the rodeo a few times, OK?

    I understand your moral position, and respect it.

    Again, I don’t condone this, but it was 6 yrs old, it was an isolated incident, and his wife and family have dealt with it no doubt already.

    I just don’t believe, given the obvious set-up/sting by Sypher, and the facts above, that this is a “pitchforks” situation.

  5. Lots of folks are wondering if this is why Willard was brought in. Pitino obviously knew this day was coming when he hired Ralph. Is Willard a backup “just in case” Rick has to bow out? Or did Rick KNOW that he was hiring his replacement, thereby setting up Ralph (his best Bud) with one of the top 5 jobs in America? Did Rick put Jurich in a position where he’ll have to make Willard head coach for at least a year?

    Interesting to see how this plays out.

  6. Pitchforks or not – it seems Pitino has a messy double life and the integrity is gone.
    He represents a little more than his needs at this point in his life.
    Pitino — grow up before you retire!

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