Saturday, April 25, 2009

Charges have been filed in the Rick Pitino extortion case

Karen Sypher, the estranged wife of Tim Sypher (the Louisville equipment manager and longtime Pitino colleague), has been charged with extortion and lying to the FBI. She wasn't just extorting Pitino; she as looking to make a fortune. From the Courier-Journal:

They discussed the possibility of a house, cars and money. The affidavit goes on to say that Tim Sypher delivered to Pitino on March 6 a written list of demands from Karen Sypher calling for college tuition for her children, two cars of her choice, a house paid off, $3,000 cash per month and a lump-sum payment of $75,000 if Pitino leaves U of L.

According to the affidavit, the note says, “If all is accepted, I will protect Rick Pitino’s name for life.”

The affidavit said she later withdrew her demands and through an attorney requested $10 million from Pitino.
We still have no idea what Sypher has on Pitino. But for $10 million, it must be pretty juicy. Speculating here, but it seems that the dirt most likely is some type of romantic relationship between Sypher and Pitino or some knowledge of a crime/NCAA violation Pitino committed. From the Strait Pinkie:
Pitino told FBI agents that he received three voice-mail messages in late February from a man who threatened to go public with criminal allegations against him. In the third message, the caller said the news media would be notified about the claims in two weeks.

Pitino told the agents he believed they stemmed from an encounter with Sypher six years earlier, after which she met Tim Sypher, the basketball team’s equipment manager, and later married him.
Whatever this ends up being, I hope it blows over soon.

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