Ironic that the man most identified with the unrelenting full court press is finding himself harassed and boxed in by new allegations every day. The Rick Pitino sex scandal is a gift from Hell that keeps on giving, and today’s special delivery is yet another claim by the aggrieved party, Karen Sypher.
Sypher, the woman with whom Pitino has admitted having consenual sex in 2003 (she says he raped her, which he denies), said on Thursday that she now thinks Pitino hired her husband, Tim Sypher, to marry her. It was all a plot, she says, to keep an eye on her in case she decided to tell what happened.
The NEW YORK POST, which kind of buries the lead here, quotes Karen Sypher as saying that her husband — an equipment manager for the Louisville basketball team — “wined and dined her” as part of an “evil plot” by Pitino:
Sypher was in divorce court yesterday.
Her husband, Tim, who she claims cooperated with federal investigators, is seeking custody of their 4-year-old child. She said their marriage — eight months after he drove her to the abortion clinic — was all part of an evil plan by Pitino.
She contends that Pitino set up the marriage to Tim as part of his ploy to silence her.
“The feds bugged my house and put surveillance everywhere with Tim’s help,” she said.
“I now think my husband was paid to marry me.”
Sypher claims she married her husband only because she was still in shock over being raped.
“I fell in love with this man who wined and dined me,” she said.
“He totally brainwashed me. I’m embarrassed to say that because I feel so stupid.”
Karen Sypher also said that Pitino is a serial philanderer, and her hope is that his other “conquests” will eventually come forward and speak up:
“There are other women,” she said. “He has a reputation as a philanderer. I’m definitely not the first. I pray they come out of the woodwork.”
How much more sordid this case can get is anyone’s guess. Louisville continues to back him, although Pitino has brought in Ralph Willard from Holy Cross as his new lead assistant; just the type of coach who could step in and run the team as an interim head coach if the need arises. Meanwhile, Karen Sypher continues to lob grenades:
Before she made her accusations against Pitino, a father of five, Sypher would frequently run into him at social gatherings.
“Rick would come up and give me a hug, and it was like I was being raped again,” she said.
“I can’t explain how bad it was. I would dread every party. I just wanted to come home, but I had to be the wife and play my part.”