Karen Sypher just couldn’t help herself. The woman believed she could manipulate the male species indefinitely, having her way with so many men in her life.

A sexual machine, a source of gratification for many.

Two documented cases of shakedowns, unconfirmed reports of others. Using people her sense of normalcy.

Decides to add Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville basketball coach, among the used. After thinking about it for six years.

Big mistake. The beginning of the end.

  • Causing threatening telephone calls to Pitino with intent to extort.
  • Causing delivery of communications of demands to Pitino with intent to extort.
  • Causing a letter to be mailed with threat of exposure.
  • Making a false statement to FBI about telephone calls.
  • Making a false statement about nature of relationship with a fellow suspect.
  • Retaliating against a victim, accusing Pitino of rape.

Guilty of all counts. Game over.

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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.

18 thoughts on “Sypher ensnared in her own net”
  1. Paul – good luck – given the history – Elvis has been sighted are all over Vegas.
    I heard he is planning on being her agent…

  2. WE’ve reach the decision that we’re holding a moratorium on any further Sypher discussion over at CARDINAL COUPLE until the judge announces the time she’ll serve. That is, of course, unless she does something really stupid or spectacular…like knocking off a mini mart or claiming that Elvis took her up in a spaceship and impregnated her and told her to blame either Pitino or Gary Coleman.

  3. The gal – Karen is griping that is was an unfair trail…
    can she appeal at this point? I do not know.
    but she is getting vocal again……yuk.

  4. Tom, I think this experience actually lends Pitino MORE credibility in giving the “fishbowl speech.” He can use himself as an object lesson in the consequences of forgetting that everything you do as a celebrity is done under a microscope. “Look what happened to me,” he can say. “I will have to live with the consequences for the rest of my life.”

  5. Verdict reinforces the claims that Sypher fabricated rape charges against Pitino, tried to force him into giving her a hosue, cars, and $10 million dollars to keep quiet.

    Any sympathy for this woman will fall on deaf ears here. I know, Rick was a willing participant in an extra-maritial affair. He gave her money for “health insurance”.

    Compare the two scenarios.

    Rick is no saint. Sypher, though…is a felon. Remember, it’s close to three months before she is sentenced. She’s walking around free right now. Who knows what she is capable of next? May want to review the movies FATAL ATTRACTION and THELMA and LOUISE for some clues. This woman is whacked.

  6. This is a fine example of what happens when you meet your match. The families have been grilled over this and I do feel bad for the children and spouses. Think about it- Karen Sypher will write a book and do signings around the commonwealth.
    Imagine a reality series with Karen Sypher. “Life after Extortion” Lights – Camera – Action! High heels and All.

    1. Acc. Wicker, the legal analyst used by WHAS TV, a person convicted of a federal crime cannot benefit from a book about the events. Any proceeds would go into a victims’ compensation fund, he explained.

  7. Sypher played pretty well when she went up against A or AA competition. But when she went after Pitino she jumped into the majors and was way over her head. She swung for the fences and struck out.

    But she isn’t the only loser. Pitino wasn’t raped. He was a very willing participant. He showed a lack of class towards his wife and his family. There have been rumors about his escapades for years. Yes, they are only rumors. But they certainly are much easier to believe after the lack of restraint he clearly showed in this situation.

    We saw the true colors of two people here. One went against the law and the other against family. I think in their own way they are both losers.

  8. Just guessing, but here goes..

    Among the players, I suspect the the overriding concern is ‘How can I get to the pros?’ and most will barely notice the discomforting mess of the summer.

    Among the fans–Heck, it’s football season. Let’s move on. And when roundball finally starts, seeing an actual fullcourt, in-your-face press once again will erase any leftover indigestion of the mess.

    But redemption–well, that will have to come from a source well-known to Rick. Not our problem. Good luck, coach.

  9. Yes, the jury did come back with a guilty verdict on all six counts. Most of us figured they would. Next, comes the sentencing phase. A look at Federal facilities shows that the most likely place for her to land is in West Viginia…the same place Martha Stewart did her time several years ago. She described the place as a “country club.”

    A key will be what Judge Simpson determines the actual extortion amount to be. 10 Million is significantly different that $500,000…the two amounts that were bandied about. Whichever he decides on will be the factoe in how much actual time she serves.

    She has been up to this kind of stuff for over a decade now. It finally caught up with up her. She did manage to drag UofL and Pitino thru the mud during it, though. And, that was one of her objectives…to make Pitino look like a sleazy huckster. No doubt that Pitino’s moral reputation has plunged dramatically in the eyes of most of us.

    No telling what kind of damage that will have on the Cardinal basketball program in the future.

    1. Yes but…….winning and winning well will go a long way toward enabling him to redeem himself with the fans. What does that say about us then? What he has to do to redeem himself with his family is between them and should stay private. Media, keep out.

    1. Exactly who are the good guys in this situation? Certainly you don’t mean Pitino. In my eyes he’s worse than Sypher for what he put his players, employer, and most importantly his poor wife and family through. We all lose.

      1. Pitino didn’t do anything unusual. Sypher was the person who initiated the contact, lied about it, then tried to take advantage of his embarrassment and his effort to maintain his reputation. Would think any more of him if hadn’t reported the effort to extort him?

        1. I’m not saying RP did anything unusual, people cheat on their spouses all the time. But it was very, very wrong. He humiliated is wife and family. It is irrelevant who initiated the encounter, he still did it. he’s still a great basketball coach, just not a stand up guy anymore. He’s still the coach of my favorite team and I think he should be because that was his personal life outside of work. I’m not a fan of his anymore so I guess the old line of “for the love of the country, not the love of the king” applies here.

  10. Tom,

    That might have been true a decade or so ago. Times have changed. Today society is very hypocritical.

  11. This will fade quickly because the community has lived with it for a year. Not a pretty thing but, like Pitino says, we’re living in a microwave society. The drama is over, move on to the next story.

  12. Recent events have proven that when there is a major spill of any kind there is going to be plenty of residue. So, what obviously must follow, is a most effective cleanup.

    There is no question that TV and other press coverage of “the trial” did leave lots of residue in the form of mud though which the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball program ultimately was dragged. When sordid details are spilled like the ones regurgitated recently, it could leave a trail that cannot easily be covered.

    Forget for a moment who finally was proven right or wrong. Let not one of us cast the first stone in either direction for now. Instead, let’s assess the aftermath with three questions: How much cleanup is there? How long will it take? And will there be any lasting repercussions?

    For most of my adult life I thought that one of the main purposes of college athletics was to help shape the future lives of young people by teaching them to make wise decisions and by helping them establish good character values. Now I’m thinking that I could be totally mistaken about that in this new age of college sports.

    Eventually every coach has to give their players the famous “You Live in a Fish Bowl” speech in an effort to warn them about misbehaving in public. It’s an essential part of setting discipline standards especially in major college sports where the media is eager to gain ratings with juicy stories of players who mess up.

    All I am asking is that someone explain to me how that “Fish Bowl” speech is going to play out in our U of L Men’s Basketball Program. Who will give the speech? How will it be received? Or will it be given at all?
    The issue is credibility. And whether we like it or not, It’s the critical part of the cleanup.

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