Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Media Coverage Of Rick Pitino Vs Steve McNair

Rick Pitino is in hot water.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino told police that he had consensual sex with and paid for an abortion for the woman who has been charged with trying to extort him, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported on Tuesday.

Karen Cunagin Sypher was federally charged in April with demanding cars, tuition for her children and finally $10 million. Police interviewed Pitino, who is married, regarding the incident last month, and according to the newspaper, he said that he gave the woman $3,000 to have an abortion.

Police records obtained by the Courier-Journal show that Pitino said he had sex with the then Karen Cunagin at a Louisville restaurant where he had been drinking on Aug. 1, 2003. He denied Cunagin Sypher's allegations that he raped her at the restaurant and then again later at a different location.

Pitino told police that Cunagin Sypher called him about two weeks after the initial encounter and said that she was pregnant. They arranged to meet at the condominium of Louisville strength coach Tim Sypher, whom she did not know at that time but would later marry.

According to the police report, Pitino said Cunagin Sypher had decided to get an abortion but claimed to not have health insurance. Pitino then gave her the $3,000. He told police that the two did not have sex at the condo or at any other location.

According to the report, Cunagin Sypher married Tim Sypher about six months later and, though she saw Pitino at team events, he claims there was never "any strange behavior." Cunagin Sypher and Tim Sypher are now estranged.

I think it will be interesting to see how the media covers Rick Pitino after this. Steve McNair's body was barely cold before the media was all over him because of his indiscretions. Don't get me wrong, obviously McNair's cheating contributed to his own death. But on the other hand people trust Rick Pitino to be a role model for their kids. To be a second father or even a father figure to many of the young men who play for him at Louisville. To me that means he should be held ot a higher standard. Now let's see if the media feels the same way.

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