U of L equipment manager statement

This morning, U of L equipment manager Tim Sypher, whose wife, Karen, has been identified as the person making allegations against — and allegedly trying to extort — U of L basketball coach Rick Pitino, issued this statement through the university’s sports information office.

“I am devastated by the bizarre allegations that my estranged wife is making against both Coach Pitino and myself. At this point, my primary concern is for my young daughter and four stepsons, both to the impact of their mother’s actions on them, as well as the impact on Coach’s family and the University. I love my children, and want to protect them. At the same time, I intend to defend the allegations vigorously and will have no additional comment at this time. “

I’d like to blog more about the process of reporting this, but I’m going to hold off until I talk to editors. Where there are legal implications, I don’t want to put anything out that I should not.

I will say, as our story reflected this morning, that The Courier-Journal has not spoken with Ms. Sypher. Apparently, in recent weeks, she has taken her story to at least one television station. That station chose not to air her allegations, for reasons that may become clear as the reporting continues.

The Courier-Journal requested, twice, yesterday, to speak with Sypher through her attorney, Thomas Clay, but he said that she would not be made available for comment. He also said in our story this morning, but it bears repeating, that his client was bringing no counter allegations against Pitino. That means, at least in his view, she is bringing no legal action against him.

UPDATE: In the original version of this blog, I mentioned receiving an email about story chat comments being deleted, and had no explanation. I said when I got one, I’d pass it along. Here it is. The following explanation was appended to the story online, and I’ll include it here:

Editor’s note: Comments have been deleted in the chat forum for this story for personal attacks or obscenity/vulgarity. Please refer to the TERMS OF SERVICE.

The terms of service are printed at the end of the story, which you can read by clicking here.

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83 thoughts on “U of L equipment manager statement

  1. I agree with you that if people had to post their real names, then maybe some of the slanderous, and other comments people leave now would stop.Other news sites don’t allow the type of comments people leave on stories at the Courier…they ARE deleted.What bothers me most on this site are the racist comments.

  2. Eric, people and readers just dont appreciate censorship. We get that during game chats, too. Justify it all you want; it’s your paper for as long as it can stay afloat with policies that include censoring the feeedback which you solicit.davidmPS- I’d use my name but the site won’t let me correct a previous registration, leaving anonymity as my only choice (What’s wrong with anonymity anyhow? Is it more offensive to the CJ who said it, or that it is said?)

  3. Yes, but it still leaves open the question: why is the LCJ sandbagging the story? The Herald Leader would be throwing UK under the bus in a second, but this paper is burying everything but Pitino flavored news releases. Come on, get some boots on the ground! What the hell is going on at the state funded UL basketball program that involves the feds, MILFs, divorce papers, nebulous denials and a HUGE coverup????And while Crawford is right to claim that no one has the right to have their comments published, newspapers that use the First Amendment as a shield have a RESPONSIBILITY to report stories that exist, regardless of WHO is involved. To hide them under lawyer drafted press releases is shirking that responsibility. But, hey, there is no journalism in the Obama era. Only dogma…But throw us a bone! Inquiring minds want to know…(and my name is my username. Hope that does it for you)

  4. “HUGE coverup””no journalism in the Obama era”What a tool. I think the boogie man is coming for you Dennis. Boo!And if you UK nutbags think the Cards receive favoritism then you truly have no idea what was hidden from the papers involving Billy Gillispie(remember him?)Remember why he was fired? Neither do I because I guess there weren’t enough “boots on the ground” Dennis. Go to bed.

  5. another prime example of the CJ protecting Pinto, these rumors have been floating around for some time……. Nice Job

  6. Festus Buggerbottom…gee, there is something to this ‘name hiding’ thing, isn’t there? I am in Florida, maroon, and I think the Lexington papers are smearing their old guy at a regular rate. Didn’t they get a Pulitzer for selling the hometown team down river? I don’t care either way. I came here thinking the story would be covered in depth.So, it seems the answer is, keep insulting the inquiry, and the news will go away. Well, it the LCJ won’t do it, you can bet some smart guy from some other place will. SO why don’t you tell me what ‘news’ this paper has put out about this story other than Pitino camp releases. Somewhere in Lou-ville, the fix is in. The media is in lock-down. TV stations hiding video interviews from one side, but pushing the PR of the other? What the F???Feds don’t get involve in people diddling people and others getting upset. Feds get involved when there is an allegation of crime. There SHOULD be local reporter sniffin’. But not here, hey? I am old enough to remember when this paper, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Chicago Trib, Atlanta Const. and the NY Times were all used in the same breath. What happened?? Has all that pizza money doughed up the journalists, too? But now, some kid hiding behind the moniker of Eustice Peckerjerker runs point-cover for lousy reporting. Ah, well, I’ll read the story at another place. 24 hours later you’ll get it, because then the LCJ can tell their handlers ‘it was already everywhere! We HAD to release it!’When’s the next Sports Illustrated come out?

  7. Like I said, go to bed Dennis. It appears that the big mean old world has finally passed you by. I think it’s Obama’s fault.

  8. did anyone notice that both coach pitino and the equipment mgr both used the term Vigorously defend, sounds like someone is hiding somethng

  9. Eric,Don’t have a comment on the Pitino thing but I do agree with your sentiments on commentors. I rarely post here because of the discourse. But I do visit and I enjoy Rick’s, Jody’s, and your coverage of local hoops. Keep up the good work.Shad

  10. Something does not smell right here. I hope we know more facts, though we can probably guess at what the real story is here — a possible affair — but it will only be a guess. Oh, well. Let us know as soon as you can.

  11. Dennis, yes it’s frustrating not to know what’s going on, but it’s a complicated situation. This woman is supposedly trying to extort Pitino, which is illegal. Extortion is a tough crime to stop because the victims want to keep their secrets. So Pitino has come forward and stopped the crime, which, depending on the allegation, may be a very brave thing to do. Now you want reputable sources to reveal what the extorter’s story was? Maybe the paper shouldn’t withhold information, but at the same time isn’t there something to be said for people to have the ability to stop extortion without having their secret revealed publicly?Also, your Obama comment was very strange.

  12. I love when people throw around “free speech” and “first amendment rights” without having a clue as to what it means. It reflects poorly upon them.

  13. “At this point, my primary concern is for my young daughter and four stepsons, both to the impact of their mother’s actions on them, as well as the impact on Coach’s family and the University.”An insinuation of a Tim/Rick fling?

  14. ‘Complicated story?’ Is the the old ‘the public is too stupid to understand’ line? Is there a story that you report that is NOT complicated that gets over 3 column inches? Extortion? So now there is extortion? If so, what do you know, and why are you withholding it becomes the primary question. You have no legal duty to worry about, Pitino is a public figure, and it involves a public university, funded by public money. ‘Crime’? You have already convicted somebody…I bet it’s not Pitino. It just sounds like you are saying ‘Pitino says there was a crime, we believe him, and we aren’t telling you what it is.’ That just doesn’t seem to fulfull whatever journalistic responsibility remains at your paper.Why the smoke ONLY for Pitino, and if what you say is true, why only publish HIS side. ‘We can’t get a hold of her lawyer’ isn’t a reason. For example, you could do a little background about the woman who I assume YOU believe was a criminal, her background, talk to her neighbors about her, sniff the ground. But nope. The entire Louisville media circles the wagon out of what has to be assumed is some hero worship, because I can’t see you doing this over the same type of story for a shlub congressman from N. Kentucky, for example. Finally, if you don’t know that many media outlets (MSNBC for example) tanked for Obama, and either spun every negative story in the direction that was requested by his handlers, you need to get out more. Does Pitino give the reporters at the LCJ a similar ‘tingly feeling’ up their legs? If not, then why the special treatment?

  15. For all of you that are critical of the CJ for not telling more, as well as being critical of the the TV station for not airing the story, keep in mind the following: Whatever her allegations are, I would think that independent confirmation of the facts would be required before the story is aired. airing or publishing a story before hand would be irresponsible, particularly if we are taking about personal and embarrasing actions. It could be that no confirmation is possible, which makes her story suspect. Or it could be that the tv/newspaper just has not been able to confirm the facts YET. Eitehr wayt, while I am highly curious as to what is going in here, I would prefer to have the media re4port things that they can confirm as true – other wise their stories become no more credible than reading the forum posts…

  16. Then why only publish a news release from Pitino, and that of an apparently besieged ex-husband of a woman who’s interview was quashed by the TV station, without asking the core question: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT????When a newspaper publishes what was fed them, it stops being a newspaper. It becomes a press agency. Don’t publish the denials to a story that you won’t print. Gee, how hard is that???Apparently, everyone in Kentucky either knows or thinks they know the back story. Unfortunately, some of don’t live there. We have no idea what the story is about. Just figured the regional paper would fess up…guess not.

  17. I’ll give ya a real name here.It only takes one person to make a false accusation to harm another personFor example, do you still beat your wife?Hats off to Coach Pitino for stopping this kind of madness.

  18. UK fans know all about accusations and charges against previous coaches. Their program has a LONG history of corruption. So, enjoy this UK fans, because it will come out that our program is clean unlike how your program has been and will continue to be under Calimari.

  19. Eric,Kudos to you! You are practicing good and fair journalism by not engaging in speculation as well as showing respect for your newspaper, Pitino, and U of L. It is refreshing to see a real journalist who is willing to wait until you know the entire story, and not engage in sensationalism, unlike some articles, comments and innuendos that I have read recently in other publications. It seems there are those who are quick to judge and some who try to "seek & destroy". If I wanted tabloid news I would purchase the National Inquirer or one of the other tabloids. I agree with Patty. All you have to do is plant the "seed of doubt" to cause irreparable damage to another person.

  20. When someone doesn’t want something to come out they claim extortion and then write a letter to the news agency who might publish the information and threaten legal action if they publish the false, allegedly defaming, material. Not saying that is what occurred here, of course. But I would suggest to the media- that the story has changed now, right? I mean, with Pitino’s statement being released- hasn’t the allegations of this lady become pertinent to THAT story?In other words, now that Rick has spoken about the “extortion” it would seem their can be no harm in printing what he claims to have been extorted over. Its no longer a story about the truth of this lady’s story- now its an extortion story about what Pitino says he was extorted over. It doesn’t matter anymore whether her story his true or not- get it?So, lets get on with this story…

  21. ce’ is my name. The city of Louisville has a lot to lose if Pitino leaves town. With the arena project if some were to leak comment that may or may not be true that could contrast to this consertative and religious state could be finacially destructive. If it something that Pitino got his son out of town before the story broke. Did anyone think is it something that got pitino and his whole family out of town. This new project has the whole city banking on pitino and his u of l program not to backfire since all the money has already spent. Look at the U of L football program and what is going on woththe gamble the made in expanding papa johns stadium. Attendence was down i bet they lost money. That is why the cover up is in.

  22. What on earth are you UofL haters suggesting? That Pitino “sold out” UofL? That HE did something criminally wrong? NCAA?Once again, if Mr. Clay weren’t defending her, it’s my opinion he’d say, “this whole thing is CRAZY.”

  23. We have to keep in mind the very real possibility that the Sypher woman is an agent provocateur, planted or hired free lance by an outside entity to stir the pot. The fact that even her estranged husband considers her allegations ‘bizarre’ would seem to confirm this. On one point you can all be sure, I will be reporting the facts as they are or will be, as MY investigation proceeds.

  24. Agent provocateur? You think there is a MILF out there who is being PAID to bring down Pitino, the University of Louisville, the City, and County? Talk about conspiracy theorists!!! I prefer to believe that this is all about a spurned woman outting gay lovers…It’s as good as anything else, since the Louisville media won’t release the facts.It’s doesn’t matter though. It’s now showing up on Yahoo!with an AP byline. Those guys who took the weekend off will helicopter in on Monday and get the details the CJ doesn’t want you to know.

  25. Um, there is a relationship trying to be extorted here, but this has nothing to do with the Sypher you are thinking about….

  26. She may be a loon… but its clear Ricky bagged this MILF and the best defense is a good Federal Investigative offense. She’s a liar!! Yeah great, but an all-time top NCAA coach responsible for shaping the lives of 15 young men every year f#@ked the equipment manager’s wife…It’s hilarious to watch the Courier Journal stumble over themselves trying to keep a lid on this. Sad. This is going to break huge tomorrow – you guys should be ashamed. There really has been NO NEWS since 12:51pm today?

  27. The Pitinos have lived separate lives for years. Mrs. Pitino is Bright Lights, Big City, and no Kentucky address meets her criteria. Rick isn't exactly in a monastary when he's not in the gym, and haven't those of you who attend the local cocktail/Meet&Greet parties seen him with a certain local lady on his arm? He is not the type of man who would be blackmailed for $20, much less millions. He'd laugh and say, "Go ahead to the press". However, if that mistress were married to the equipment manager (who signed a confidentiality agreement and then spilled secrets to her at home), then separated from him and threatened to spill all she knew about the program in public, the equipment manager, the coach and the school might band together to make her look like a liar, including calling in the FBI. We'll see.

  28. It’s been a long day, spent in large part following the trail of a certain poster who alternately goes by Justice/alie, and mayhap some other, depending on the forum.This poster has been casting some rather wild aspersions, namely that there was an affair, abortion, and obviously a cover up. When pressed for proof, this particular poster would turn to name calling, pyrotechnic flaming, what have you. But NEVER produced anything concrete.Now, one thing ‘she’, and I have come to the conclusion that the poster in question was female,would turn to was upping the stakes, turning her previous claims into things like rape, forced abortion, and offered hush money. Again, nothing to back it up.There are only two conclusions one can draw at this point, that this poster was an incredibly, and very active, poser, or this poster, who came off as very upset/unbalanced, was none other than MRS. KAREN SYPHER!BTW, a couple of the most common references I’ve heard in relation to this person have been, as Dennis stated, MILF, but also, and more sinisterly: Black Widow…

  29. In my opinion, I have to wonder what type of allegations are being made and what facts they are or aren’t. Allegations are a very tricky thing due to anyone being able to make an allegation of criminal or personal wrongdoing. In my opinion, trying to censor people for saying things is a bit of an overreach. There may or may not be anything substantial or even criminal regarding these allegations. That is up to a court to handle. We’re not here to try to convict anyone and that is not the necessity of public opinion. Legitimate allegations that involve the University and its commitment to its students and the taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Kentucky are the business of the public. Personal allegations that are untrue in fact should be pursued in a court of law. Personal matters between consenting adults should remain their business. The real question that needs to be asked is this involving a violation of laws or rules regarding the allegations. However, if this involves the public trust and involves the basketball program and the University of Louisville, then I believe that the truth must be told at all costs. If there is something going on then the public taxpayer and the residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky have the right to know. This is based on our dime paying for the University of Louisville as well as the basketball program and the Louisville arena. The citizens of this state have a right to know if any violations of NCAA rules exist or any other unethical behavior that could have occurred. This is not to say that anything actually occurred or that it did not occur. Just an observation about the situation because it seems that there is something more to this story that we the people are not getting.

  30. Dennis,wake up and read the news. Soon to be ex-Mrs. Sypher has (through her lawyer) turned down multiple media request for interviews over the past few days. NOT ONE media source is running with the story, because she will not tell it. The FBI is involved and she is now face serious problems regarding her “story” and allegations. There are no black helicopters, no conspiracy, just that ALL the media is waiting to know ALL the story before they publish half-truths and lies. But I guess we know that is what you want to read is half-truths and lies.

  31. I love when Anoymous people call me by name. Use yours, or don’t call out mine.I don’t know any of what you talk about. I know that the media in Louisville DOES know the story (hell, they VIDEOED the woman giving her version) but they won’t release it. How does she face ‘serious problems’ unless you automatically think Pitino is an innocent victim? An interview with the FBI isn’t a serious problem. So you ALREADY accepted HIS version, without hearing hers…Which is, of course, what he wants you to do…he clearly fired a pre-empt strike, and the news folk ran for cover. Which is why the media’s self imposed gag order is even more repugnant.

  32. I am astonished how many people want to shoot shots at Ricky P. When HE called in the FBI in. You do not do that if you broke the law. He may have messed with her, but that is not against the law. What she is said to have done is.By some of the logic here, if I meet a woman, spend some time with her, she has the right to call me up and get some money from me or she is going to make me look bad in public. Give me a break; it is flat out her trying to get something for nothing.Even if they were together, does it mean she calculated on how to get money the old fashion way on her back, or was she thinking, if I am with Rick, I can get some money.I have been told she did the same thing to the one of the past owners of a local Deli vending company. He was married and made a huge mistake after meeting her one night and was with her. She then got him to pay for lots of stuff, then told his wife when he quit paying her payments.

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