Rick Pitino’s done testifying in the extortion trial of Karen Cunagin Sypher. But the embarrassment is far from over.
Louisville’s coach was cross-examined Thursday by the defense, which elevated more lurid details about their 2003 night in question, how Pitino handled the situation and what he did when harassing phone calls began.
But instead of recounting all the details in this post, I encourage you to read Matt Jones’ account at Kentucky Sports Radio. He’s been the go-to guy for facts and analysis during the trial, including the segment of Thursday when Sypher’s ex-husband, Tim, took the stand. Sure, it requires you clicking on a couple of links, but it’s worth it.
And it gives me a chance to focus on something else: Jay Mariotti’s column calling for Pitino to resign.
That’s not an original stance. Pitino, like nearly every other coach, has a morals clause in his Louisville contract that would give the school cause to fire him if it saw fit. This kind of behavior isn’t befitting someone of his stature.
But here’s the thing - hardly any news that emerged at the trial has changed from last summer. Sure, there are more graphic details to pass along, but Pitino admitted the affair last summer.
And the school decided to stick by Pitino. Why should he bail on them now? Wouldn’t that be the easy way out?
Surely Pitino, A.D. Tom Jurich, school president James Ramsey can weather some more embarrassment until the 2010-11 basketball season begins. By then, the new KFC Yum! Center will open and the nation’s most profitable hoops program will resume playing.
Unless Pitino’s teams start losing - a possibility, given that the trial can’t be helping his recruiting - don’t expect a change, no matter what lurid details emerge from the trial. There’s too much at stake for the hoops program.