University of Louisville men’s basketball coach has apologized to his family and the university for an extramarital affair he had six years ago.
In an interview with police that was made public this week, Pitino acknowledged that he had sex at a Louisville restaurant in 2003 with Karen Sypher, who has since been charged with trying to extort money from Pitino.
At a Wednesday press conference, Pitino said he’d already apologized to his family for his “indiscretion” and wanted to apologize to his extended family at the university.
He said he wants to continue coaching at U of L “for as long as they’ll have me.”
“I love the game, love my players, love this university as well as this community. I want to coach nowhere else and I don’t believe in anything as much as I believe in this university and this state,” Pitino said.
University president James Ramsey said in a statement that he’s disappointed with Pitino’s error in judgement, but the coach did the right thing in admitting his mistake.
Pitino’s entire statement can be heard here.
Listen to Stephanie Sanders’ feature story on the Pitino sex scandal.
Statement from Dr. James Ramsey, University of Louisville President:
Rick Pitino is the University of Louisville’s basketball coach. He has been a role model for countless young people and a positive influence on this community.
Regardless of the truth or falsehood of specific actions that have been attributed to the coach, he’s clearly made errors in judgment that have come under intense public scrutiny. We can’t ignore these errors in judgment, and they have saddened and disappointed me. As we try to teach our students, when you make a mistake, you admit it and right it as best you can. Coach has done that today.
It’s not an easy thing to come before the university community and all of you to admit mistakes and commit to do better. I know this has been difficult on the coach, it’s been difficult on me, and difficult for our university. But as Coach Pitino and I discussed earlier today, this was the right thing for him to do.
We hope this closes this chapter; we’re all ready to move on. Our university is recovering from a flood that shut down a large portion of our campus, preparing for the start of classes on August 24th, and getting ready to welcome the most academically talented freshman class in our history. We need to get back to our job of educating the next generation of Kentucky’s leaders.
Statement from Tom Jurich, University of Louisville Vice-President and Director of Athletics:
As I said yesterday, Coach Pitino has been truthful with us about this matter all along and we stand by him and his family during this process. He’s been diligent in his work as our men’s basketball coach, despite a number of false rumors, reported inaccuracies and the difficulties this personal matter that happened six years ago has placed on him and his family. I’m a million percent behind him. I have great confidence in the federal court system that this matter will be addressed appropriately. I expect Coach Pitino to be the head coach at the University of Louisville for a long time.