UofL Prez 'surprised' by Pitino news

The news that Rick Pitino paid Karen Sypher $3,000 for an abortion in 2003 sent shock waves throughout the college basketball world Wednesday. According to the Associated Press, the new revelations about Pitino came as a surprise to UofL president James Ramsey.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The woman accused of trying to extort Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino approached him in a restaurant six years ago, and the two had sex later that night, the coach told police. Two weeks after they met, the married father of five gave her $3,000 for an abortion.

The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported on its Web site Tuesday that Pitino told police he had been drinking at the restaurant and had consensual sex with Karen Sypher in August 2003 at a table near the bar. The police report said the 56-year-old coach denied Sypher's allegations that he raped her after the restaurant closed and at another time somewhere else.

The university's president expressed surprise at new details in the scandal surrounding the coach, whose contract includes dishonesty and "moral depravity" as grounds for firing.

Read the full AP article

Other Highlights from the Associated Press article

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said in a statement that "Coach Pitino has been truthful with us about this matter all along and we stand by him and his family during this process."

School president James Ramsey, who also said his thoughts were with the Pitino family, said new details in the case surprised him.

"Several months ago, Coach Pitino informed me about the alleged extortion attempt. I've now been informed that there may be other details which, if true, I find surprising," Ramsey said in a statement.

If the coach wasn't forthcoming about the scandal with his employer, the consequences could be more severe than negative headlines. Pitino's contract with the university includes clauses that outline reasons for termination. Listed among the reasons is: "Employee's dishonesty with Employer or University; or acts of moral depravity."

The contract, which runs through 2013, also includes among the grounds for firing "disparaging media publicity of a material nature that damages the good name and reputation of Employer or University, if such publicity is caused by Employee's will misconduct that could objectively be anticipated to bring Employee into public disrepute or scandal."


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