Louisville Coach Admits Sex With Accused Blackmailer

Woman charged with $10M extortion attempt
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2009 1:44 AM CDT
Karen Sypher, charged with trying to extort Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and of lying to the FBI, leaves the Gene Snyder Courthouse following a court appearance in Louisville, Ky.    (AP Photo/Brian Bohannon)
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(Newser) – University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino told police that he had consensual sex with a woman who later accused him of rape and tried to blackmail him for $10 million, according to records obtained by the Courier-Journal. Karen Sypher, the estranged wife of the team's equipment manager, has pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion and lying to the FBI. 

Pitino, who is married with five children, told police that he paid $3,000 for Sypher to have an abortion. Authorities, citing a lack of evidence, conflicting statements in interviews, and the fact that Sypher did not make the rape allegations until after she was indicted for extortion, do not plan to press charges against Pitino. The coach "has been truthful with us about this matter all along and we stand by him and his family during this process,"  Louisville's athletics director said in a statement.