August 12, 2009
Extra Onions is a roundup of college hoops stuff from around the 'Webs. As always, email or follow me on Twitter to send along links I should see. Some days, when warranted, E.O. merely highlights the best of what's out there on one major topic. Today is one such day.
• Chas Rich, FanHouse: "For a while, what information and news that had been leaking really made this look like a completely crazy woman going after Pitino. Her attorney had quit, and the court had to appoint one for her. She lacked much credibility as she claimed that Pitino raped her that night, and then said he sexually assaulted her at Tim Sypher's condo at their second meeting -- while Sypher was upstairs. And then married Sypher six months later. Rick Pitino will still be the coach at Louisville. He will still be successful as a coach. His reputation and image, though, are toast. The creepiness. The weirdness. Everything about this is just ugly, tawdry and sleazy."
• Mike Miller, Beyond the Arc: "But it's also a reminder -- as if sports fans needed another one this summer -- that we really don't know our sports figures, no matter how much larger than life they may seem. Rick Pitino is one of the college basketball's best coaches, a man who ressurected Kentucky basketball, re-built Louisville and is the only coach to ever take three different schools to the Final Four. But he's no longer on a pedestal. Not ever again. [...] Some might say this simply reinforces the idea that sports figures are capable of mistakes like everyone else. Others would say this is why it's foolish to elevate them in the first place."
• Truzenzuzex, A Sea of Blue: "These are the kinds of personal actions that cannot be written off by a man in Pitino's position as a "personal matter" -- he is in charge of young men's lives, they look to him for guidance not just in basketball but in life, and he must find a way to turn this negative into a positive with respect to the young men under his care. Handling this the right way, being up front and honest about it, is something he should have done months ago, but now absolutely must do now in order to begin the recovery process from this unfortunate indiscretion.
In the end, this is a body blow to the personal repuation of a sure Hall of Fame coach. Rick Pitino is a big part of Kentucky's legacy, and I will love him forever for his years as a Wildcat, even as I must consider him the opposition as coach of the Cardinals. I hope that he can summon up his formidable will and raise himself back up from this knockdown.
I was not happy to hear this news, and my heart is heavy."
• Mike Rutherford, Card Chronicle: "This has to be the most infamous restaurant sex since Humpty got busy in a Burger King bathroom."
• Rush The Court: "With what we know now, can we say that these moves were just coincidences? That Richard Pitino simply wanted to get out from under his father’s shadow and stake his own claim? That Ralph Willard wanted less responsibility as a coach, was ready to leave a place he loved, and just wanted the chance to coach with his old friend again? Or were these moves representative of a head coach and a father who was getting a few affairs in order? Was Pitino getting his son Richard out of the media maelstrom he knew was probably coming, asking an old friend and protege in Billy Donovan to take care of his son and let him continue his coaching education in case these personal matters took a bad turn? Was Pitino bringing in a high-quality coach and old friend like Willard to be his lead assistant and possibly take over Pitino’s Cardinal program in case the Sypher situation started to blow up and Pitino needed to leave the spotlight for a while? Knowing what a calculating man that Rick Pitino is, it’s hard — in fact, next to impossible — for me to think that these moves were simply coincidental. No, from our view – Rick Pitino knew this thing was percolating and likely to explode, and he was making sure certain valuables were protected."
• Rob Dauster, Ballin Is A Habit: "And that doesn't come close to describing how bizarre this story is. Seriously, go read it. I don't know who comes off worse. Karen Sypher looks like an absolute nut job, but what about Pitino? Cheats on his wife with a random broad he meets at a restaurant (on the restaurant floor, nonetheless) while his assistant is present, pays her to get an abortion, and then stands by as she marries a friend and colleague. Can you get much scumbaggier than that?"
• Dan Shanoff, Sporting Blog: "Yikes." (Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.)