Put All The Cards On The Table

By Jim Reed

The thing so perplexing about the serialized Rick Pitino scandal is this: Most everyone you talk to offers a knowing wink and mutters that there’s “more to this than meets the eye.” Well, do tell. Somebody, please, do tell. The few facts that dribble out raise more questions than answers. Does no one have anything definitive? We want the facts, all the details; we’ll smugly apply our own prejudices and personal biases if need be. Then, just maybe, we can put it all behind us.Pitino-situation

Doesn’t it seem that, in large part, the local news media has been circling the wagons in defense of the man whose white suit is becoming more famous than that of Colonel Sanders?  I am weary of the breathless whispers, the unfounded rumors, the unsubstantiated accusations; give us the true nitty-gritty.

Loosen the news hounds. Must we wait for the tell-all book? Where is Deep throat when we need him? Let’s hear some juicy tidbits from confidential informants whose story has been verified by an independent source. Tie up the loose ends! Right now, I feel like TV’s Monk: “I know they did it; I just don’t know how they did it.” Let’s get all the cards on the table.

Fox News assures us, “We report, you decide.” Fair enough. Then give us the scoop; we’ll analyze what’s in the shovel. What we’ve been getting, though, is a reluctance: News sources seem to be “fumbling for the check.” Why the timidity? Whatever happened to the rush to be the “first to report.” About all I’ve learned from TV is that, nights when he’s out late, Coach likes to go to Rally’s.

If he has to squirm a bit now, so be it; he’s a public figure, of his own making, until now an icon of hard work and noble purpose.

Yes, The Courier-Journal has taken the lead in breaking this story open, with open-records requests, etc., but there’s still a sense their heart’s not in it. Every time I read something new, there are more loose ends than clarity; I feel like Peter Falk’s Columbo asking: “Just one more thing.” I mean, whatever became of that post-Watergate investigative reporter, no stoned left unturned mindset? We need a local version of Woodard and Bernstein assigned to sniff out the facts. The devil is in the details.

It’s not just the press that seems to be dragging their feet on this, though. I’ve seen no local villagers gathering at sundown, armed with pitch forks and torches, to march on the castle demanding an explanation for what, based on the sketchiest reports, appears to be outrageous behavior by a pillar of the community.

Even university leaders, among the last bastions of morality, have developed a blind eye. Despite a good degree of pillorying of the coach in the national media, the prevailing attitude locally seems to be merely, “Well, boys will be boys,” and “But he’s such a good coach.” Where is the outrage?

Personally, I do believe in double standards. To wit: I have no problem with one set of rules for celebrities and another one for the rest of us. Celebrities who gripe about their lack of privacy can “talk to the bank.” For the record, I’ve been an ardent supporter of Rick Pitino. I was so taken by his public persona that, years ago, I hiked down to the belvedere just to watch him relay the Olympic torch. When he trotted past, the moment touched me.

In subsequent years, he basked in our admiration; he didn’t demur when we put him on a pedestal; he sought the spotlight; he also cashed the big checks. Success is a choice. If he has to squirm a bit now, so be it; he’s a public figure, of his own making, until now an icon of hard work and noble purpose. But: To whom much is given, much is expected. And it’s time to take some questions. As Desi often told his TV wife, “Lucy, you got some ’splaining to do.” How can we be judgmental and pious if we don’t have all of the cards on the table?

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Jim Reed

Jim Reed is a free lance writer and photographer, and has worked for more than a dozen local, state and national publcations. He is self-employed, operating Jim Reed Communications. He leans heavily blue, but also roots for the University of Louisville.

9 thoughts on “Put All The Cards On The Table

  • August 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm
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    Good post, Mr. Reed, but Mark Hebert is not walking through that door. He’s on the payroll now.

  • August 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm
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    One of the problems with this situation is that one of the characters is a little unbalanced, making wild accusations from day to day that any neutral observer would have difficulty believing. She’s a loose cannon with a flawed past.

    We would benefit from some more enlightenment on Vinny Tatum’s status that evening, as the designated driver who was not the one to take his boss home. Did he stay there that night? Was he in the back seat? Curious.

  • August 15, 2009 at 10:38 pm
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    There are no investigative reporters in this town except for the guy who wears the crazy hat at WHAS-TV. What he needs to be careful about are the other women over the years.

  • August 15, 2009 at 10:47 pm
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    Vinny Tatum seemed to tag along for a reason. Why? Who only knows but Vinnie and Rick. WE can speculate but the answer needs to come from Rick. I have had some really ugly thoughts about Vinnies place in all this.

    Tim Sypher also said Pitino puts money into a college fund for the Sypher’s daughter, Annabelle.

    “He takes care of a lot of people in that way,” he said.

    The phrase (he takes care of alot of people that way)- sounds like a godfather to me. Or is Rick just a generous man that did a very stupid thing 6 years ago.
    I hate to say this but they should look at Ricks finances and connect the dots to some key people in all this … Vinnie could be one of them.

  • August 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm
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    It does seem like the news people are doing very little hard-nosed reporting. Mostly, the broadcasters just rehash whatever the newspaper reports and the Courier seems to be settling for whatever just lands in their lap. So far, it appears the New York Post has come down here and done more digging and ferreting out of new info than anyone locally.

    Perhaps those in the local media feel they would be playing into Sypher’s hands, essentially aiding and abetting her defamation, if they were to pursue this story more aggressively.

  • August 16, 2009 at 12:21 am
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    I am sure the local media does not wish to find out anymore about Pitino for what he represents to many and of course (UofL).
    Pitino’s nasty undercurrent has oozed into the public from this incident. Up until now he has been able to keep it out of public consumption…but now a very wicked jeannie is out of the bottle. Who knows what will now surface.

  • August 16, 2009 at 1:59 am
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    An executive assistant differs slightly from administrative assistant in the connotation of supporting an officer of a company, either public or private, who carries the authority to make crucial decisions affecting the direction of said organization, and is therefore a sought-after resource in decision-making and policy setting. The executive assistant performs the usual roles of managing correspondence, preparing research, and communication while also acting as the “gatekeeper,”..wiki…

    Is this the job description for Vinnie Tatum? He is the executive assistant to Rick Pitino. We need to know how much gatekeeping has gone on… how many handlers does Pitino have?

  • August 16, 2009 at 8:57 am
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    Let it die. Pitino’s personal life, although well documented reently, is just that. His personal life.
    More and more every day, this site, and countless others are turning more into the National Enquier than a Cardinal sports blog. Haven’t seen a football report from Paul lately? Sonja, how’s the Lady Cards?

    Let’s get it back to sports. Volleyball, field hockey, football, soccer. Not Porcini’s and Sypher’s condo.

  • August 16, 2009 at 8:16 pm
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    Believe it or not, Rick Pitino’s web site http://www.rickpitino.com has a poll that asks:

    Rick Pitino 1-Minute Poll:
    Should he be fired for adultery & the abortion?

    Some webmaster is going to get an earful!

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