Louisville Pro-Life Students Call for Dismissal of Coach who Killed Unborn Child to Cover Up Affair

Thu Aug 13, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, August 13, 2009 ( -  A basketball coach at the University of Louisville has admitted to paying for the abortion of his unborn child in order to cover up an extramarital affair.  While the school has expressed willingness to support Pitino in his decision not to resign, the college pro-life group is calling for his dismissal, saying his deeds destroyed his ability to act as a role model.

Coach Rick Pitino apologized at a press conference Wednesday for committing adultery in 2003 in a Louisville restaurant.  Pitino told police seven months ago that he engaged in consensual sex with Karen Cunagin Sypher, and later gave her $3,000 because she said she wanted an abortion, but had no insurance. 

Sypher claimed had Pitino raped her, which Pitino denies, and the commonwealth's attorney's office last month dismissed her claims. Sypher has now been indicted with attempting to extort money from Pitino in exchange for covering up the affair.

Pitino's contract allows him to be fired for acts of "moral depravity," or for causing public scandal by "willful conduct that could objectively be determined to bring (the) employee into public dispute or scandal."

But UofL President James Ramsey expressed willingness to keep Patino, saying he hoped the coach's apology "closes this chapter."  "We're all ready to move on," said Ramsey.

Lisa Just, the president of Cardinals for Life, today issued a statement calling for the school to dismiss Pitino.

"When I hear the name Rick Pitino, I think of a celebrity, a hero to kids not only on this campus, but throughout Kentucky and around the country," said Just.  "This morning, he let down every student at this university, every Cardinals fan and every college basketball fan."  

"A man who values protecting his reputation above the life of his child is not a man the University of Louisville should ask us to emulate," she continued.  "A man who turned his back on his wife, his children, his team and the University of Louisville, and then was willing to pay to have his preborn son or daughter killed in order to hide his offenses should not hold a place of honor on this campus. 

"If the University of Louisville doesn't dismiss Rick Pitino immediately, they are condoning the abortion of his child, as well as his betrayal of his family, his team and the entire campus community."

Cardinals for Life is a part of American Life League's "LiveCampus" project.

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