Pitino to remain coach; Karen Sypher back in court - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pitino to remain coach; Karen Sypher back in court

By Bennett Haeberle, WDRB-TV Fox 41 News

He is the only basketball coach in history to lead three different college teams to a Final Four.

But it is still unclear if Rick Pitino will able to lead himself out of a sex scandal.

The University of Louisville has made it clear Pitino will remain head basketball coach, despite his admission of a sexual encounter.

On Thursday, the woman involved in that tryst, Karen Sypher, was back in court for a divorce dispute involving money and her daughter.

Karen Sypher was silent as she made her way into family court Thursday, a day after Pitino apologized for his sexual encounter with Sypher. The incident happened at Porcini restaurant in August of 2003.

"I let them down with my indiscretion six years ago, and I'm sorry for that," said Pitino.

Karen Sypher's estranged husband, Tim Sypher, is a UofL assistant and the team's equipment manager.

"I don't like my ex-wife's ways," said Tim Sypher.

Tim Sypher says their marriage fell apart in February after he learned of the threatening phone calls that were made to Coach Pitino.

"I was in shock to be honest with you," said Tim Sypher.

The FBI says the phone calls were the start of an extortion attempt against Pitino. An attempt the feds say centered around that sexual encounter at the restaurant.

Karen Sypher told sex crimes detectives with Louisville Metro Police that she was raped. A police report shows Pitino says the encounter happened after the restaurant was closed, and was consensual.

That report also revealed Pitino gave Karen Sypher $3,000 for an abortion. The incident happened before Karen and Tim were married.

"Mr. Sypher has cooperated with the federal authorities. He has cooperated with the state authorities. His statements have been consistent with those of Coach Pitino. Our primary interest is with the little girl," said James McCrocklin, Tim Sypher's attorney.

Judge Hugh Smith Haynie granted each parent shared custody. In court, Tim Sypher admitted he was wrong for recently drinking and driving with his daughter.

Karen Sypher also acknowledged she paid a private investigator $2000 to follow her now-estranged husband. She left the courthouse like she came in, without acknowledging Pitino's apology.

Karen Sypher is due back in federal court on August 28th. She has pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion and lying to FBI.

Her divorce proceeding will resume Friday morning.

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