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Rick Pitino: Sowing Seeds

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 29:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals looks on against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jimmy RenoCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2009

Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino has admitted to police that he had consensual sex with a woman in a restroom six years ago according to the Associated Press.

Pitino stated that when the female came to him two weeks later and told him she was pregnant, he gave her $ 3,000 for an abortion.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Pitino told police he had been drinking in a Louisville restaurant when he had sex with Karen Sypher. In the report, Pitino denied the allegations by Sypher that he raped her after the restaurant closed.

Sypher reported the allegations last month, but a Kentucky prosecutor has said the case lacks supporting evidence. Sypher has been indicted on extortion charges.

The real question for sports fans now centers around one issue in this case: Morality.

When parents help their college-aged children determine a school of choice, will Pitino's lack of morality play a role?

In today's athletics, coaches are more than just the head of a team, they are oftentimes role models for the young men who follow their leadership. Many of these athletes have no father at home and the head coach becomes the father figure.

Pitino may be justified in saying he's innocent of the allegations Sypher has made against him, but he's not innocent in many other equally important ways.

Pitino, who is married and has numerous children of his own, not only broke his marriage vows in an act of total selfishness, he also condoned and provided the financial means for Sypher to terminate her pregnancy and end the innocent life inside her.

In this life, our choices we make and the things we do define who we are. You can't separate who someone is from the job they hold. The moral code we live by determines our daily decisions, and Pitino has shown that his morality is seriously lacking.

The University of Louisville may decide to take no action against Pitino and the courts may find his accuser guilty of extortion, but that won't change the damage Pitino has caused to his family or to his reputation.

Rival recruiters will certainly use the situation to point out why an athlete shouldn't play for him and why the parents shouldn't trust him.

There are few truths in an uncertain world, but there is one that has stood the test of time—you reap what you sow, and Rick Pitino's harvest is in.

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