<
>

Rick Pitino says he's undeterred by trustee criticism

Louisville coach Rick Pitino wrote in a blog post Thursday that he doesn't want people to "think the haters get me down."

In the wake of the Cardinals' postseason ban that will end their season Saturday at Virginia, Pitino was responding to criticism from Louisville trustee Emily Bingham about his 2003 sexual encounter with a woman in a closed restaurant.

Bingham wrote in an article for the Louisville Courier-Journal on Wednesday that she has lost confidence in university president James Ramsey and noted that the basketball team was "already embarrassed by the sexual misconduct of its coach," echoing a comment she made at a meeting Tuesday when a no-confidence vote for Ramsey was discussed.

"Someone approached me the next day and asked the question what did I think of the trustee that brought up my indiscretion from ten years ago?" Pitino wrote. "I responded this way and I will share it with you. My price was paid for a long time."

The woman in the 2003 encounter, Karen Cunagin Sypher, later used $3,000 given by Pitino to pay for an abortion; Pitino said the money was intended for health insurance. Sypher was found guilty in 2010 of trying to extort cash and gifts from the Louisville coach to keep their encounter secret and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Pitino did not refer to Bingham by name in his post.

"As for the person who said it, the glass houses are overflowing with people who throw those stones," the coach wrote. "That trustee would be better served trying to get a dysfunctional board on some form of a team. I'll make a suggestion to the person I have not met: Let God judge and get out of your glass house."

The post started as a reflection on his team's senior night, a 56-53 win over Georgia Tech. Pitino celebrated seniors Damion Lee and Trey Lewis with rings and a video tribute featuring "One Shining Moment."

Louisville self-imposed a postseason ban Feb. 5 for recruiting violations found during an investigation of an escort's allegations of sex parties at the team's dormitory. The Cardinals would have been a lock for the NCAA tournament, but a ban quickly shifted their focus to making the most of their remaining games.

Information from ESPN senior writer Ian O'Connor and The Associated Press contributed to this report.