Since details of his dirty nasty affair with local skank Karen Sypher have been made public, the …drip…drip…drip… of negative press coverage has quickly overwhelmed Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s carefully crafted image as a successful basketball coach and community leader.
Clearly Pitino has had enough. At a hastily called press conference yesterday afternoon, Pitino had a simple message for everyone covering the story:
"Know your role...and shut your mouth."
I think Rick Pitino just tried to have his own "Rock" moment.
For those not following the story, the Louisville police department earlier Wednesday made public more taped conversations they made of their interviews with Sypher. This obviously remains big news locally because 1) Rick Pitino is one of the most recognizable figures in the state, and 2) we just don’t get good sex scandals like this everyday in Kentucky. And everyone loves a good sex scandal.
The problem is that Pitino would just rather you not hear, read or see what is included on those tapes. So he came out breathing fire against reporters for repeating "lies" about him, told the press how to do their jobs, and basically tried to intimidate the media into not releasing the details of what Sypher had to say about him in the tapes.
At least it’s clear to me that Pitino understands the first lesson of public relations: when your penis gets you in trouble, blame the press.
In spite of that, it’s hard to lose sight of the fact that it was Pitino who had after-hours sex on a restaurant table with a woman he had just met, gave that woman money which apparently was used for an abortion, and then the same woman turned around and married his close friend and longtime staff assistant. Whether they would admit it or not, I think most people are dying for more juicy details on the case whether those details are truthful, somewhat truthful, or complete bald-faced lies. Basically we’re all a bunch of hungry little gossip mongers that love a scandal.
So I ask: How could the media not cover this story?
Nonetheless, I took away from the presser that Pitino still feels he needs to reassure a jittery fan base and wavering recruits that he was going to fight, leaving no question he intends to stay on as coach. My personal favorite quote from this afternoon: "All of this has been a lie. It’s a total fabrication of the truth - except what I’ve told you."
I wonder if that’s what he told his family.
It was Pitino – not the press – that created this mess in the first place. Only time and a forgiving, forgetful public will get him out of it. No matter how bad this situation has been on Pitino personally or how hard it is for his friends and family to cope with his indiscretions, raking the media over the coals for doing what they are paid to do seems pretty foolish and self-serving at this point.
-Posted by Rev. Shaw Moore