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Extra-Weird Pitino Extortion Saga Continues

By Brian Kumnick on August 13, 2009 12:36 PM

Coach Still Faces Potential Dismissal Under "Morals Clause"

It seems it's just about time for another of our monthly updates on the extortion case involving Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. Stories that Pitino had been the victim of an extortion attempt surfaced back in April, without any details to make sense of them.

This week, the sordid story finally starts to come into focus. Karen Sypher has been indicted for attempted extortion and for lying to the FBI. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the charges arose out of Sypher's threat to Pitino that, unless he paid her for her silence, she would go public with accusations that Pitino had twice raped her in 2003, that she became pregnant as a result, and that Pitino had given her money to have an abortion.
For his part, Pitino, who is married, admitted to police that he and Sypher did have consensual sex on one occasion, though he flatly denied the rape allegations. In this he is backed up by Louisville police, who found serious holes in Sypher's story when she reported the alleged rapes, and came to the conclusion that she was lying.

Pitino will not face any criminal charges. He did have to face sports fans and U of L officials, though, and apologize for his tawdry one-night stand. He also might have to worry about the morals clause in his contract, under which he could potentially face termination for "acts of moral depravity," for dishonesty, or even for bringing negative publicity to the University.

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