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Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino apologizes for sex scandal August 15, 2009

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University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino apologized this week for his misconduct in a sex scandal involving Karen Cunagin Sypher, who allegedly tried to extort $10 million from him after their affair. In his apology, Pitino acknowledged having sex with the woman and giving her $3,000 for health insurance, which she claims he gave her for an abortion. Pitino claims to be telling the whole truth about the incident, but admitted that some details remained private due to an ongoing lawsuit against him. The crisis will be tough to overcome, however. Pitino has built a public image as a family man with Roman Catholic values and technically serves as a mentor for young basketball stars at the university. Though he has received great support from the university so far, some say that his biggest troubles are ahead as he faces the taunting of fans when the team hits the road this season.

For more on this story, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Was Pitino’s apology sufficient in minimizing the fallout from his sex scandal?  Why, or why not?

2.  If you consulted Pitino before he drafted his statement, what changes might you have recommended and why?

3.  Does Pitino need to discuss the scandal again?  What determines if this crisis goes away?

4.  How should the school address the scandal in front of the public eye?  Was Louisville’s statement adequate, or should the administration be handling the crisis differently?

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