Morality Clause Emerges in Scandal Involving Coach

August 13, 2009

Rick Pitino is not only facing a personal scandal, but it turns out that the University of Louisville basketball coach has a morality clause in his contract, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported Wednesday. The same newspaper reported Tuesday that Pitino told police that he had engaged in consensual sex with Karen Cunagin Sypher in a Louisville restaurant on Aug. 1, 2003, and paid her $3,000 to have an abortion. Sypher has made accusations -- which police say lack a basis for acting upon -- that the coach assaulted her. She faces charges of trying to extort money from Pitino to keep the situation private. The newspaper reported that the university -- which has backed Pitino -- can fire him for acts of “moral depravity” or if he engages in “willful conduct that could objectively be determined to bring (the) employee into public dispute or scandal, or which tends to greatly offend the public.”

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