One thing I’ll mention that I didn’t mention before. I don’t watch much TV news. I didn’t realize that they’d gone with video of Karen Sypher’s allegations to detectives.
I understand Pitino’s frustration with this. This is all information that has been available in its entirety in print. Most of it is information that has been refuted or rejected by law enforcement. But because television has a tape of it, that makes it news for them. Even if all the allegations were reported weeks ago — TV has tape, and you’re going to see it at noon, 6 and 11.
It’s not always right. But it is the way TV operates. Pitino knows this.
He still made a mistake with this news conference, because those videos were only of limited interest in the city of Louisville. Nobody nationally cared.
I understand he had to rush home to comfort his wife who was upset when she saw Sypher on the news. I understand he is frustrated when the New York Post comes to town, befriends Sypher, prints her scandalous allegations, then doesn’t care when the truth comes out.
But the fact remains, Pitino turned a local story into a national one today. And he put some sound bytes out there that are sure to reverberate for as long as Larry Bird not walking through that door.
Here’s a look at some national headlines that have hit the web already:
Fox Sports: Pitino blames media for ‘pure hell’ amid sex scandal
ESPN: Angry Pitino says scandal ‘pure hell’ for family
USAToday: Pitino lashes out at media for reporting ‘lies’
SportingNews.com: Pitino expresses exasperation with Sypher coverage
Yahoo! Sports:Rick Pitino’s defiantly weird press conference
NBC: ‘Pure Hell’
My friend David Barber, a local attorney, sent me a quote that’s insightful. It comes from Robert Greene, in The 48 Laws of Power: “By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone.”
More on some of Pitino’s comments in a bit.
Here’s the audio, click to listen for yourself: