The biggest news story in Louisville, Kentucky is about Rick Pitino, Head Coach of the University of Louisville’s men basketball team. In short, Pitino says he had consensual sex with the soon to be ex-wife of U of L’s equipment Manager Tim Sypher, and because she didn’t have insurance, he gave her $3000 to have an abortion. Sypher, on the other hand, states Pitino raped her twice. Now that both sides of the story are out, one might wonder what punishment, if any, will the University of Louisville exact upon Pitino? Or, will there be any repercussions at all?
Since April, The Courier Journal has kept the public abreast of this bizarre story and up until August 12, we had only heard one side of it: Karen Sypher’s. Sypher alleges that Pitino raped her twice in 2003: once, in a local restaurant and weeks later at a condominium owned by the team’s equipment manager, Tim Sypher. Later Karen would marry Tim Sypher and despite allegedly being “raped” by Rick Pitino would still be connected to Pitino’s life through her marriage to Sypher. Now the relationship between Karen and Tim Sypher is estranged and they are ending their marriage.
As mentioned, on Wednesday, August 12, The Courier Journal reported Rick Pitino’s version of the story. He said they had consensual sex once, not twice. Upon learning that Sypher was pregnant and wanted an abortion but didn’t have insurance, Pitino allegedly gave her $3,000 to take “care of” the matter which she did in Cincinnati, Ohio.
But all that nonsense aside, one must wonder what repercussions Pitino will endure and/or suffer as the Coach of the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball team. That’s not to say that Sypher is not suffering, nor is it a condemnation of Pitino. He is simply human like the rest of us. What I’m curious about is the contract that he has with the University. Specifically, The Courier Journal reported on August 13, 2009, that key provisions of his contract include several grounds for termination including this point:
“Employee’s dishonesty with Employer or University; or acts of moral depravity; or conviction of a felony or employment or drug-related misdemeanor; or intoxication or being under the influence of a psychoactive substance when performing duties under this contract, when student athletes are present, when attending scheduled public events or appearance, or during media contracts.”
Acts of Moral Depravity
There is only one phrase of that entire sentence that I’m referring to: “acts of moral depravity”. If Rick Pitino did in fact pay Sypher to have an abortion, then in my pro-life viewpoint, that is an act of moral depravity. Oh, the brief encounter with Sypher meets the lack of moral depravity as well. However, it’s not mine or the public’s decision on what should happen with Pitino. It is the University of Louisville’s decision to determine if Pitino violated the terms of the contract between them.
Apparently, however, Pitino has the backing and support of President James Ramsey and Athletic Director Tom Jurich, both of the University of Louisville.
I’m curious why there is no punishment, not even a slap on the hand for Rick Pitino. Why is it that he is held to different standards than the average Joe? Is it because of his stature in the basketball world? The sad news is that Pitino has the power to wield great influence over young men. And the supposedly older and wiser men will simply “put this behind them” and move on.
Source: The Courier Journal, August 13, 2009 edition