Tue Aug 11 10:48pm EDT
Update No. 2, 3:44 p.m. Wednesday: Pitino's lawyer has corrected the initial report of a payment for an abortion, saying this:
[Pitino's] attorney said Wednesday that the money was to help her get medical coverage, not specifically to pay for an abortion.
Important distinction, even at this point it seems like damage control.
Update: It turns out Pitino's contract has a morality clause, which, uh oh. Also, click here for more reactions from around the Web.
Original post: That headline pretty much says it all, but there's much, much more in the Louisville Courier-Journal's long report on the matter, including details about Karen Sypher's post-extortion charge rape claims, most of which have fallen on unenthusiastic ears from the police involved. Pitino's basic story is this: Pitino met Sypher, then Karen Cunagin, at a restaurant. They had consensual sex. A few weeks later she called him and said she was pregnant. According to Pitino, Sypher told him she was going to get an abortion but didn't have health insurance, and Pitino gave her $3,000 for the operation.
Um, yeah. The whole thing will make you a bit queasy. Still, if you're interested, you should read the C-J's report. There's plenty more nausea-induction where that came from.
The relevant question is what this does to Pitino's future at Louisville. If his story stands up, and he's not guilty of sexual assault, he hasn't committed a crime against the law. But short of sexual assault, providing abortion money to a woman who isn't your wife is basically the scummiest thing you could do. (And this is not a pro-choice/pro-life distinction, either; regardless of your stance on abortion, this is bad behavior all the same.)
So what do Louisville fans do? What do the university president and trustees decide? Is there a conduct unbecoming principle to fall back on here? Or does Pitino keep his job and hope the whole thing blows over? Does the university even have cause to fire Pitino if he doesn't want to leave? Is the embarrassment and family strife enough to throw Pitino out of the job voluntarily?
All in time. Presently, but one thing's for sure: Exonerating stories don't get much worse than Rick Pitino's.
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