Fresh off back to back NCAA Championship appearances (including one title), Rick Pitino came to Boston in 1997 and was supposed to be the savior of the Celtics. Three plus years later, it’s basically an indisputable fact that he left things worse than when he got there.
With Boston in his dust, he moved on to Louisville and magically rediscovered his coaching ability (yes, we’re still bitter). Things were going well for Pitino until one fateful night in 2003.
While dinning at an Italian restaurant, Pitino was approached by a woman by the name of Karen Cunigan, who innocently asked him to give her son some words of wisdom. Several hours and 15 seconds later (we’ll get to that), he had relations with her in said restaurant. Unfortunately for Rick, this isn’t where things ended. Shortly thereafter, Cunigan confronted him stating that she was pregnant. He gave her $3000 for an abortion/medical coverage, depending on who’s story you believe. This meeting occurred at the condo of his team’s strength coach, Tim Sypher. The plot thickens, as Sypher and Cunigan would later marry.
Flash forward to 2009, and (the now) Cunigan Sypher was indicted for extorting Pitino for a whooping $10 million. She also claim that Pitino raped her during their one night stand… AFTER the extortion charges were filed. All the above details came out during the trial, as well as the following gem. While testifying under oath, Pitino claimed their “encounter” lasted “no more than 15 seconds”. I know you’re under oath, but in my book lying was worth the potential perjury charges here. Following her conviction, Cunigan Sypher accused the judge, prosecutor, Pitino and her own attorney of conspiring to ensure she was guilty. And this is why you don’t sleep with crazy people. Obviously the night was just a huge mistake for Pitino, but then again he was the man who gave up on Chauncey Billups after only 51 games. Hey Rick, you’re dignity is not walking through that door.
Despite all this, we would be remiss not to mention the fact that Pitino is actually married, and has been since 1976. His wife is Joanne Minardi, and the couple have 5 living children. They lost one son at 6 months due to congenital heart failure. In his memory, they established the Daniel Patino Foundation to benefit underprivileged children