From the University of Louisville, a reissue of this statement from Steve Pence, attorney for Rick Pitino:
“Karen Sypher’s most recent allegation that she did not voluntarily abort her pregnancy in 2003 is a complete fabrication. Both her medical records and recorded statements of Coach Pitino demonstrate that this decision was solely hers. Ms. Sypher’s statements otherwise are part of her continuing attempt to embarrass Coach Pitino which she promised to do in her attempt to extort money from him. That she is distraught from this abortion as opposed to her other abortion shortly thereafter in 2003 is inexplicable. Ms Sypher is clearly disturbed and incapable of telling the truth. Coach Pitino will continue to cooperate in the federal criminal prosecution of Ms. Sypher.”
A couple of notes on the abortion issue. I’m not going to wade into the deeper discussion, because opinions are very much deep-seeded on this, and go far beyond basketball. Opinions on this, in my experience, are not going to change.
Quite a few have expressed the opinion that someone involved in an abortion should not have a position of authority at a public university, and are disappointed that U of L would not take more of a stand on this issue. I would point out that U of L is hardly in a position to take a stand on this issue. One example: There is one abortion clinic in Louisville. It, according to its web site, employs two doctors. Both are faculty members of the U of L medical school. If U of L moves to sanction a coach who gave a woman money that was subsequently used for an abortion, does it not have to sanction faculty who perform them, or staff who assist women with information on abortions? Truly, U of L is in no position to make a public judgment on this issue.
Secondly, I don’t know that the “pay for health insurance” explanation from Pitino’s representatives will fly with the public. But it is clear from listening to the audio tape — which Sypher herself provided — that Pitino, in the only actual, first-hand evidence we have, is not trying to talk Sypher into having an abortion, and certainly not coercing or forcing her to have one.
The fact remains that he knew she was considering this action, and gave her money with which to do it (far more money, in fact, than an abortion costs).
I doubt if anyone with strong feelings on this issue will be swayed, and that’s fine. But it’s important that everybody take a close look at what actually transpired, not necessarily what is alleged. And it’s important to keep some perspective where U of L is concerned.
Coming next, your email responses from today . . .