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Pitino not immune to life lessons

8/13/2009

I know there are all kinds of opinions out there on the Rick Pitino situation.

By now everybody has heard about the information contained in police reports, which came out in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal recently. Karen Cunagin Sypher has been charged with extortion in a case involving the Louisville basketball coach.

Let's not rush to judgment, as the extortion case will play out in the legal system. It will run its course. Remember, Pitino has not been charged with any crime, and in fact the police investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

According to the police, there was no credibility in the allegations made by Sypher.

Her claim of rape has been shot down by police. Also worth noting: According to Pitino's attorney, the coach gave Sypher $3,000 because she did not have health insurance. The lawyer claimed the payment was not for an abortion.

The court will determine what took place. As I read yesterday, this is not Pitino vs. Sypher, but the government vs. Sypher. The charges were made after testimony and information were scrutinized.

Obviously, six years ago, Pitino used poor judgment. He made a major mistake, and he admitted it. Understand that many people are guilty of making errors in their life. That is why life provides so many lessons, so you learn from your mistakes. Any time you have a scene involving liquor and it is late at night, negative things can happen.

My heart goes out to the Pitino family, which has been through a lot in this scenario. This case has caused a lot of embarrassment to the family.

I have known Rick Pitino for many years. I know him as a strong-minded individual and a phenomenal basketball coach with Hall of Fame credentials. Over the years, he has done so much to help people, working with numerous charities. Earlier this year he was involved with the Dickie V gala as we raised over $1 million for the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.

I firmly believe he has learned from this mistake. That was six years ago, and people change. They grow up, learn and move on in their lives.