What Now For Rick Pitino?

By Sonja Sykes

So the dirty rumors have finally been confirmed.

As a member of the Catholic faith like Rick, I know abortions don’t endear you to the parish priest. I can’t condone Ms. Sypher’s action. If it’s true that he financed the abortion, Pitino is just as guilty as her. Adultery is strike two. Our faith and the Ten Commandments teach us that this is wrong.

Abortion is murder. Adultery always hurts more than the parties involved. If it had been Billy Bob and Sarah Jo in Radcliff, it would have drawn little more than a passing shrug. What make this case worse is that Pitino is a widely recognized public figure and a molder of young men.

In my opinion, the ramifications extend far beyond stepping into the confessional and confiding to the priest. Is the offense serious enough to take his coaching job away? Does he resign? Is it the reason Ralph Willard was summoned?

Sides will be drawn. There will be the inevitable one liners, crude jokes and the taunts and pointing fingers of opposing fans, creating a distraction for the family, Louisville players and Card fans.

We listen to sermons about forgiveness, about he who is without sin casting the first stone. Is redemption possible in all of this? We know about the Pitino “spin doctoring” abilities with the media. Let’s see how he turns this. Let’s see how we respond.

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Pitino Appearance Cancelled — Samford University has announced that the university and Pitino have mutually agreed to cancel a luncheon speech Pitino was scheduled to deliver on Sept. 10 at the Birmingham school.


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Charlie Springer

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

6 thoughts on “What Now For Rick Pitino?

  • August 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm
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    Sonja – the forgiveness part is true.
    However, the spin factor is rationalization.
    Pitino may just be too arrogant to realize his own problems. However, he made choices that have ramifications. His wife no doubt has that portion in her hands and God bless her for her family support.

    But as Charlie points out there are many people involved in this mess and I find that sad. People who perhaps care or are looking for attention. I don’t know — but like a Tony Soprano – he draws people in and uses them up for his needs. That to me says alot about his character.
    Yes, he can coach … However, – he owes dedication to marriage, family and his profession.

    • August 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm
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      I am not going to take the high and mighty stance here other than the fact that the University of Louisville is now involved in this mess. I am curious of Dr. RaMsey’s meeting with Jurich. He sounded like he was a bit blind sided by Pitino’s admission to the police on a few of the particulars. I doubt Pitino did anything illegal, but morally it is bad, and UofL looks bad as well. This could give Ramsey all he needs to say heck with you and let Pitino go. If something like this is going to happen, I think it will be within the week. Pitino needs to make a public appology, he doesn’t have to give any particulars, just appologize. Silence here allows for more speculation.

  • August 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm
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    Good points. The thing is…Rick really can’t say anymore until the legal prosecution of Sypher is concluded becausr he will most likely be called by the prosecution as a witness.

    The family issue is obvious. Who knows how his wife will respond, if she didn’t know already, and there are children and in-laws affected as well.

    There is a clause in his contract with the University that outlines any actions by him that may cause the university significant embarrasment could be a punishable offense, including firing. Also grounds for termination for lying. I don’t think he’s lied yet. To judge just how embarrasing this situation is needs to be determined by Jurcih and Ramsey, I suppose. It’s not like he got caught on police video staggering around a car or boozing it up with soroity chicks at a campus function. It has made the headline news on AOL, though…as well as thousands of other media venues. Jim Rome led in with it today.

    Jurich and Ramsey’s meeting may have to wait a few weeks. Jurich underwent eye surgery today and will be off work for a couple of weeks. Previously scheduled surgery. He’ll miss the football banquet.

    Just to clarify something I refered to in the original post. According to Pitino’s legal counsel, the $3000 given to Ms. Sypher was money for health care…provided when she acknowledged that she did not have health insurance…not specifically for an abotion. I know, legal mumbo-jumbo that each side will twist like a wet dish rag, but…that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

    It is important to remember that Rick Pitino has broken no laws with all of this. Abortion is legal and adultry is not a criminal offense. He cannot be prosecuted for either in a court of law. The moral implications, though…

  • August 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm
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    The moral issue is not a legal one – but again look at all the maneuvering
    and
    family protection that has been given for this one guys action. In some ways perhaps Pitino met his match with Sypher. I really feel bad for everyone involved. Sypher is just as guilty and the attraction between the two was mutual. For her to cry rape – is out of the scope of reason. A very raw side of Coach Pitino has been revealed. Time will tell if that private now public side has any impact on his position with the Cards.

    • August 12, 2009 at 7:40 pm
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      Let’s just call this thing for what it is. A serious lapse of morality by an intoxicated public figure with a slut. Pitino was out celebrating. He obviously planned on doing a bunch of it, because he had a designated driver lined up and the restaurant owner left him the keys to lock up. He could have just sat there and drank the night away, but he succumbed to the temptation.

      This women is no angel. She came back to that restaurant later that evening for one specific reason and she got what she wanted. She’s lied to the police, the media and to the public. She has a past of gold-digging and got real ugly when it was made clear to her that Pitino wasn’t going to pay up.

      False claim of rapes, extortion attempts, lying to the police, bringing in people to help perpertrate the con…she’s really got it all going on, doesn’t she?

      I by no means condone Pitino’s activities…but I’m willing to accept the public apology. When you wallow with the pigs, though…you’re gonna get dirty. It’s something they both have to live with the rest of their lives. She’s got a lot more to reconcile with than Rick, but I doubt she ever does.

      Do the crime, serve the time…Karen.

  • August 12, 2009 at 8:29 pm
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    This will play out on several different levels. When it comes to the recruiting aspect it will have to have a negative effect. Can you picture Rick looking a recruit’s mother in the eyes and talking about helping her son to become a man. Got to put a crimp in that approach for a year or two. Or more if other coaches keep using it. As for how it affects his family, that’s none of my business.

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