(BP) – Louisville, KY – August 17, 2009
Anti-abortion activists in Atlanta, Nashville and here in Louisville, Kentucky are poised to pressure the University of Louisville on its indecision concerning the tenure of men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino.
The activists, claiming to be inspired by the success of PETA’s efforts against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, are planning a series of marches, rallies and sit-ins on campus. Ted Jackson, leader of the EggsRPeople2 organization, says, “It is a disgrace that a state institution can honor the contract of a murderer like Pitino. We are confident that the people of the good state of Kentucky will join us in calling for the university to act decisively. We are calling the governor and our legislators. This man is a devil. He has to go. Did you see him in that white suit?”
Rick Pitino became embroiled in a scandal when it was revealed that he had engaged in an adulterous affair with a women he accused of blackmailing him. Pitino forwarded evidence of his charges to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in April 2009. While the national sports media largely ignored this story, anti-abortion rights activists began to investigate the story independently. It seems there were rumors in and around Lexington that Pitino and Karen Cunagin Sypher were engaged in a steamy relationship, and that Pitino was reputed to have unprotected sex with random women. The activists and their sources appear to have been vindicated when the story emerged that Pitino paid for Sypher to have an abortion.
University of Louisville chaplain Jefferson Kilkenny said, “I am so deeply saddened by this. Coach Pitino is the most polarizing figure in the state of Kentucky since Adolf Rupp. Even Cassius Clay didn’t set people off like this. I’ve never seen this many people so incensed by the actions of one man. What he’s done is horrible. It goes against all that we hold dear at this school. This institution has to do right by its students, its alumni, and by the unborn child of this evil man.”
University president James Ramsey has steadfastly supported coach Pitino in the face of withering opposition. Ramsey was quoted as saying, “The incendiary vitriol of the people in unimaginable. I can only imagine how tensions might flare if he’d done more than subsidized the murder of his unborn child. Had he killed dogs, we’d need to beef up security around the campus. As it is, I’m concerned about the beginning of the academic year and have advised all of our liberal faculty members, particularly the sociologists, to be acutely aware of their surroundings.”
Pitino was unavailable for comment.
Louisville police department chief Hugh Firestone added, “We know that these activists are not above the use of violence. We’re concerned about the safety of everyone. In an environment like this, someone could lash out at the university health center or the basketball team or anyone.”
The parents of one member of the basketball team offered this summary, “Sometimes men make beds they don’t want to lie in. And sometimes, they tell lies that everyone has to live with. I hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive him. After all, it’s not as if he killed dogs.”
The University of Louisville basketball team is annually one of the elite contenders for the national championship. No plans have been announced to seek or hire a replacement for Pitino.