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August 13th, 2009
08:52 AM ET

Should He Stay or Should He Go?

A respected college basketball coach is now in the spotlight for something other than wins and losses.

Well, that may not be entirely true.

University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino may have lost his dignity, over his admission to having sex six years ago, with a woman in a restaurant.

Pitino is married, with five children.

Now on to the sordid details of the story.

The woman contacted Pitino weeks after the tryst, saying she was pregnant, and had no health insurance.

His lawyers says she was paid $3,000, but that Pitino didn't know the money could be used for an abortion.

Now, that same woman is awaiting trial, for allegedly trying to extort 10 million dollars from the coach. She has pleaded not guilty.

University officials are saying little, except that they're surprised.

So we want to know what you think.

Should he stay or go, as head basketball coach at Louisville?

Send us your thoughts.

Filed under: Heidi Collins • Rick Sanchez
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Rick

    Unless he lied to Louisville or misappropriated funds, it's his personal business.Leave him alone!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  2. todaysdouche

    All I know is that Pitino is definitely not blameless in all of this, and I have serious questions about the effect his influence could have on his players. Many coaches are looked up to as role models, so do we want potential future NBA millionaires growing up believing that this kind of behavior is acceptable, and in some ways, rewarded?

    August 13, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  3. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Rick, Happy to see you on the 10am segment. I miss you at 3pm as I am working during the week. Please keep up the good reporting of weeding out the lies and misinformation we are being fed from the insurance industry, conservatives and Republicans. They are literally licking their chops and enjoying every single minute of the discord they have created as a diversion in the Health Care debate. shame on them all!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  4. michael armstrong sr.

    This guys a basketball coach not a politicion are we going to start fireing bus drivers and airplane captains or Burger King managers for adultry just take a deep breath and count to ten.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  5. Chris Astle

    I don't care whether Petino keeps his job or not. What is more important is that a person who attempted extortion is prosecuted. THAT is a more serious crime than adultery.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  6. Paul Rice

    In KY – basketball is KING! The win/lost is much more important than how you win!

    Pitino shoud go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  7. jiml

    what vick did was illegal....pitino didn't break the law....he shouldn't get a free "moral" pass but he shouldn't lose his job......coaches and sports figures should not be role models anyway!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  8. Beth

    I was a Pitino fan-atic when he was at UK and now that I live in Louisville, I am (was) thrilled to have him home. But having sex on a table in a restaurant, and then paying $3000n for [health care... abortion... silence} fits the bill of "moral depravity that's in his contract. So the first rule of mentoring is accountability. He should go.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  9. Pat

    Much ado about nothing. If every man that had an affair lost his job unemployement would be at 80%.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  10. Jamie

    You just seriously compared a drunken sexual escapade to MICHAEL VICK?!?!?! The reason this woman is taking the heat more than Coach Pitino is because she tried to get 10 million dollars from him. If she had come forward 6 years ago and said that he allegedly raped her, then maybe public sympathy would be in her favor a little more. As facts come out now, she came on to him in a bar, she had sex with him IN A BAR, then 2 weeks later she said she was pregnant. It's awfully hard to tell that in 2 weeks, unless your intention is to get pregnant and you know exactly when you're fertile and when you should start your menstrual cycle. Otherwise it would take at least a month to realize you missed. It happened so long ago that it would appear Mrs Pitino has dealt with it. Why should we care, 6 years after the fact

    August 13, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  11. Jerry Lester

    He should stay! Rick asked the question if he should be treated like Vick. The difference is Vick broke a federal law, adultery is not a crime. I disagree with what he did, but that's between him and his wife.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  12. Susannah

    How can you even compare Michael Vick with Pitino!! Vick committed a felony and took the lives of countless helpless animals. Pitino had an affair, so what?

    August 13, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  13. Lenore

    He should go. I don't blame the woman when a man can't keep their pants zipped. I dumped my ex because of the same problem.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  14. cindy

    As someone who lives in the general area of Louisville, KY I for one could not care less about someone's personal private business. It was and is apparent to anyone this woman stalked him from jump. She then married the equipment coach to stay around. I doubt that she was pregnant to begin with . Even is she were and he paid for an abortion so what. She saw a meal ticket but he was not biting, Besides which this was six years ago. Ths country needs to get over it's hang ups and judgemental ways about sex.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  15. Jim Amrine

    Sexual infidelity is a plague that is destroying our nation. We need leaders that are examples of good behavior, not bad. He should be dismissed, despite his winning record. Doing what is right is more important than winning. When will Americans learn that?

    August 13, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  16. Sean

    If he did nothing illegal, then he should be left alone. It is their family's personal business. The woman may have attempted blackmail, which is a crime. Consequently, she should get jail te if guilty. This guy may be a jerk for cheating, but that doesn't male ha criminal or a bad coach.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  17. E. M. Johnson

    Yes, the coach should be allowed to keep his job. It takes two to do it and this women who wanted to have sex with Coach Pitino is trying to be a gold digger, and she should be indicted by a grand jury.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  18. Rusty .. Ohio


    It's an affair... No crime committed here other than her trying coherse money from Pitino and his family. Coach Pitino only has to answer to his wife and family not the News Media or even his employeer.
    People who make $6.25 and hour have affairs and it's not spread all over the news. The media needs to focus on the real issues going on right now not somebody who fooled around with a stupid person.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  19. Wil

    should he go or should he stay Hmmmmm 🙂
    if he was a BLACK coach or ball player we would be asking WHERE he's going and when he's leaving, hold him to the same fire other black people have been held to, the only difference is the COLOR OF HIS SKIN ...

    August 13, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  20. Eleanor

    Why is it that everytime a white male does something it was a "mistake" but with someone like Mike Vick he should loose his job. Mike used very poor judgement but should he "pay" for the rest of his life. If there is forgiveness for the coach their should certainly be forgiveness for Michael Vick. "He without sin, cast the first stone." The coach did act inappropriately but that is between his wife, GOD and himself. Michael Vick did wrong and is trying to move forward by doing better. Give him another chance also without all the criticism. Enough is ENOUGH!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  21. Joanne

    Although i am not an advocate for extra marital affairs, sounds like the woman is an opportunist trying to cash in. They had a lliason that was consentual by two adults, she got pregnant and he gave her money....done deal, anything else should be private and between him and his wife not the whole wide world!!!! I don't think he should take the heat, not from this woman or the public, if anything it should be from his wife and it should be between them.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  22. Andre

    Rick, (not Heidi), he is a man who made a mistake, we all do. That being said, he is however, held to a higher standard since he is a leader for impressionable young men. Maybe he should make a public statement explaining the mistake he made, his regret, and how he will avoid this type of situation in the future.... And you can't compare him to Michael Vick, unless he goes to prison for his mistake like Vick did...

    August 13, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  23. Raye North

    I understand that having affairs is not a good thing, but 60% of individuals have sex with somebody else during the course of their marriage. It is sad, but NOT a crime. He should NOT lose his job and everybody should stop with the witch trials. Extortion, on the other hand, is very illegal.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  24. Ann Russell

    I don't think Pitino should be removed from his position until a complete investigation is concluded. I have several questions that should be asked: Why did she wait for six years to come forward? Was she really pregnant or did she only want money? Did she really use the $3,000 to have an abortion? Investigators might want to follow the money trail and obtain more information. SInce these assertions are being made, all records should be open for inspection.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  25. Jim Thompson

    Why would he go? Is it ok to fire someone for cheating? Or paying for a abortion to keep it secret? He did not break any laws. She did by tring to blackmail him. "not a fan of Pitino and I am pro life but I don't want the moral police at my job" When he breaks the law then lets talk about about getting rid of him.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  26. Steve

    I don't understand why someones personal life problems should ever be an issue in relation to their professional career unless it is a directly related problem.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  27. antonio

    i read all the blogs after steve mcnairs death about how much he was a loser for cheating on his wife, this guy pitno is a loser, he should go cause he is dealing with kids at the most young men whom look up to him as a mentor

    August 13, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  28. Amy

    The fact that Coach had a major lapse in judgement more than 5 years ago has nothing to do with his ability to coach. Family and work stresses he dealt with are not for us or coach's employer to judge. It his business that he cheated and his wife's too. The extortionist is the one who should be admonished here. IF she got pregnant, they both took that risk! Unless she had his child and he is neglecting to help pay for the child's upbringing, the extortionist deserves nothing except a long stay in a jail cell.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  29. Myra

    Yes, she should take the heat! If she chooses to live the life that she finds it okay to have casual sex in a public restroom and then finds it okay to blackmail someone she deserves the heat!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  30. Conrad Steinhauer

    Extortion is against the law, being a “sleazebag” is not.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:47 am |

    Frankly, I could not care less whether Pitino stays or goes. But to compare a sexual indiscretion -however strange – with Vick's actions of killing dogs is ludicrous. I would absolute boycott any team which might hire Vicks. And, get real. Pitino isn't a "mentor" to these college kids. They're no doubt more sexually active than he is.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  32. Katie

    Fire the SOB........ Michael Vick lost his job over a bunch of dogs. Rick "white boy" Pitino will most likely get a slap on the hand and continue working as a coach.

    Just like all the government officials, Mark Sanford etc, who commit, in my mind, despicable acts Rick will go on like nothing happen.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  33. ahtisdale

    He should be fired as he is no longer a valid, moral role model for his players or the university. It matters not that he is sorry; he is not guilty of "making a mistake". That is when you trip on the rug and spill your coffee. His was an intentional act – he did what he set out to do – have extra marital sex. Rash, impulsive but not
    "a mistake".

    August 13, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  34. fred

    let me start by saying i like louisville basketball , i loved the former coach denny crumb better than the current coach , what we stand for in life should over shadow one's ability to coach , i think he should resign i dont need another sports apology , i had enough of them , fyi rick mentioned michael vick losing his job i think the faces the news media had blocked during the investigation showed have been shown they providied the fuel to keep the dog fighting ring going ,if you punish one punish them all

    August 13, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  35. Ed

    How can you compare this man's actions to those of Michael Vick?? Consensual sex between adults vs running a dog fighting ring?
    The legal issues notwithstanding, to me this is a personal issue between Pitino and his wife/family. When are we going to stop passing judgement on other people for things which don't effect us? I'm not a religious person, but let he who is without sin...

    August 13, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  36. Jason King

    This Country is out of control, Since when does his personal life have anything to do with his job. Lots of people are unhappy at home, that doesn't mean he can't do his job. To me, the press and the people are exploiting Mr. Patino. Why should he go and get some disease from some random woman, when he can pay for somone pretty and disease free. All men are dogs and the world needs to know this, I am a man and I am a dog!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  37. Bill

    After 6 years, I say forget it! Afterall, we forgave Bill Clinton

    August 13, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  38. Nish

    i will say what he did is wrong, but doesnt every white athlete/celebrity get away with whatever they did, in this country? i am american born and raised, but if you think about it, caucasians can do as they please, whatever they did will make the news for one or two days, and then it's over. CNN compared him to mike vick, didnt he just make a mistake too? yet, he was given such a harsh punishment, for actions in his personal life, there was no need to make it a national story behind mike ... do you really think he's the first guy to have dog fights?

    August 13, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  39. August

    I think he should be subject to the same scrutiny as Micheal Vick and Kobe Bryant and other athletes who have lost their livelyhood or had it affected by a bad judgement.These guys must realize that they are not above the law,including Mr. Basketball(Rick ).I happen to be a fan of Rick,s and I am personally disappointed with this type of behavior.All athletes and coaches or any high profile person should be made to understand that they must face the same outcomes as regular people when they make a error in judgement.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:48 am |

    Rick Pitino should be fired because he represent a very fame university, "Louisville Kentucky". He also represent his community and most of all the young and up coming athletes. Michael Vick serve his time for dog fighting so let Rick face the music for his immoral act!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  41. susan

    His multimillion dollar contract contains a morality clause that this 33 yrs married father of 6 (5 living) violated when he boinked this probably disturbed woman he just met in the back room of a bar loudly (yes there were withnesses) and got pregnant.

    Yes it gets weirder, after the risky encounter he met at his assistants home to pay for her abortion, then the assistant dates, marries and has kids with her. They've all been friends both work and home!

    Having public unprotect extramarital sex clearly violates the morals clause of his contract. I suspect the University president will make his final decision based on what Alumni pressures him to do.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  42. Ann

    Why should he be fired? Her attempt at blackmail is against the law–his casual sexual enounter is not. He was stupid and thoughtless to put himself and his family in such a position but he did nothing against the law. She did. And if every adultery resulted in the firing of the participants, the unemployment rate would be astronomical. Judge Pitino on his coaching–not his personal life.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  43. Brenda Davis

    Yes Rick Pitino should be fired! . Michael Vick went to jail for killing dogs, Pitino encouraged this woman to have an abortion, that is death. What is interesting to me is that Pitino keeps stressing that this happen six years ago. The bottom line is it happen! The fact that the two of them had sex in a restaurant, is appalling!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  44. Sandi Kahlon

    Who cares? He had sex. She got pregnant. He paid her 3 grand. Maybe she had an abortion. Maybe it was, "Oopsy, please go away," money. The crime? She tried to extort millions of dollars of his money, not the team's, not the tax-payers, not yours, not mine. Instead of allowing himself to be blackmailed, he did the right thing by coming forward to report her crime. His crime? Ask his wife, not me. Should he lose his job? Of course not, duh......

    August 13, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  45. Jon Wray

    Rick Patino should not lose his job for an alleged mistake that was not related to his job. The woman who is alleged to have tried to blackmail him should be tried in a court of law to determine her guilt. Blackmail is illegal. That is our system of justice. Should Patino be allowed to continue to work with adult men in basketball? Why not? They are all adults. That is similar to the question as to whether a local newscaster be promoted afyer being involved in a drunk driving death when he leaves the scene and has a phony excuse.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  46. YOEL

    What the hell is wrong with everyone, these days? If this guy is a good coach, well, let him coach. Your private life should remain private, even if for some unfortunate reason, it becomes public.

    We, for some reason, have become a nation of hypocrites, and unfortunately, the media is not in the business of reporting, anymore. Opinionated, ego inflating journalist, seem to be the raison d'etre these days, and that is bad for those unfortunate celebrities that find themselves in their cross hairs.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  47. Marlene Watts

    In the first place–he may need a minor biology program-two weeks after sex is a little early to determine pregnancy-secondly, his wife may need to be tested for STD's-only a fool would have unprotected sex with anyone-and lastly he should learn to keep his expensive pants zipped.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  48. Cheryl

    This is his life, his business. I have a problem with people in the public eye getting their jobs threaten because of what they choose to do in their personal life. It’s his private business...we are not to judge him. So leave him alone

    August 13, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  49. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Rick, The person who is insisting that Dr. Gupta's facts are wrong needs an immediate education. How in the world can he refute what a person in the medical field is very sad. The person is not living in the real world. He needs to get out from under his rock.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  50. Linda Burgess

    Rick, Rick, Rick: Patino is no Michael Vick. Your comparison is way off. Vick wantonly killed helpless animals for no reason other than they were not a financial asset to him any more. I'm sure Vick must have enjoyed the killing or he would have had someone else do it.. Patino is a man, like Clinton, like Sanford, like you. Patino is a human who made a mistake six years ago. An attractive woman who throws herself at a man like Patino, says she's pregnant, gets money from him and then tries to extort $10 million by threatening to tell everybody had a plan in mind. She is the criminal here, not Patino. No, he should not be fired for a moral lapse.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  51. Dean Cade

    As the mailman said, "wake up Rick"!
    Patino broke no laws that we currently are aware of...
    As for comparing him to Vick, are you serious?
    Have you done the homework, she tried to extort how much, how many years later.
    Do you know the relationship between Patino and her husband?
    Do the homework.
    Adultry is wrong and has its own set of consequences, however just how does that impact winning basketball games.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  52. scotte Hampton VA

    He's in the same boat as Gov Sanford, they both should go. They both committed adultry. Was the lady really pregnant, or was she trying to extort money?

    August 13, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  53. D B Davis

    As Mike Vic, I don't see what one thing has to do with another! Did he cheat? Yes, probably. But I don't know why this should be held against his job!!! It is a private matter !! This situation should not be used against this man! We need to learn how to seperate personal matters from professional matters!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  54. fred

    ed please reread my statement , beside wrong is wrong , i was pointing out the newsanchor comparison ,i'll accept your apology

    August 13, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  55. Paul Rice

    WOW – The male gets a "pass" again! The woman is the guilty one!

    Enough guilt for both! However – one gets arrested and the other gets away with it!

    Equal justice for all – al long as the win/lost is on the winning side – let's see what happens when the Cardinals loseeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  56. Bella

    The woman ’agreed’ to it in the first place for them to get together. It's not like he raped her. Whatever she did with $3000 is her issue. As for him being a coach, this doesn’t make him less important to his team. It’s obvious she’s after 10 million dollars now and not because she’s “hurt” – again $$$$$ – when will these men realize it?

    August 13, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  57. T

    Pleaaaase..........why should everyone that does something i their private life in this country be fired from their jobs??? The mentoring young men comment---–Oh please if we would get our heads out of the sand and stop trying to pretend this is truly some puritanic society we live in, then maybe we would stop racing to judge every indivdual decision a person makes. They guy had casual sex, paid hush money or whatvever to the young lady and then she tries to extort him. As previously mentioned by a blogger, the female should get more attention becuase she attempted to bribe the coach who is only guilty of adultry.

    The average American does not care and does not believe that the coach should lose his job. Some would argue that sex is more addictive than drugs and we remember are still animals/mammals......but unlike the majority of the animal kingdom we try to repress the natural inclination by men to mate......repeatedly and with multiple partners. The problem is not the coach, it is the false social stigma placed on casual sex.

    He might be guilty of infidelity but that is a far stretch from being worthy of losing your coaching job or the ridiculous belief that he would in essence be uncapable of mentoring young men..........good grief!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  58. A White

    He should be allowed to stay on his job. What he did was as a private citizen.let he that is with out sin cast the first stone.What he did will not affect the players they should have gotten training at home

    August 13, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  59. brider

    The university sport director has all ready said he stands behind pitino a million percent.............and the president of the university has said the same thing.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  60. becky

    Why should he loose his job, remember the President of the United States, Bill Clinton had an affair, was Impeached and still kept his job, so why should this guy be any different. If we are worried about the message that we are sending, how much bigger of a message did we send there.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  61. Celenia Pendygraft

    I give him credit for standing up to a shake-down. She lied to the FBI and is being tried for extortion. Why should he be punished for telling the truth-it is always ugly in a blackmail case. That's the reason so many people don't stand up for themself. HE went to the FBI. I respect him for facing the truth and not letting himself be used to cover up a crime.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  62. Jamie

    Seriously, those college kids he supposedly mentors probably have had more sexual partners by the time they get to college than Pitino has had. I think it's BS to say he should lose his job because he set a bad example to these kids. Bobby Knight HIT his players, choked them, threw things, screamed and raved like a lunatic and lost his job once, then went on to coach somewhere else. As a parent I'd be more concerned with the fact that the coach is a bully and might abuse my child than if a coach was going to have sex with someone. If his wife forgave him, that should be it. Kobe Bryant didn't get fired from the Lakers, and I'd be willing to bet that he has a lot of kids look up to him too. Magic Johnson got AIDS by sleeping around, but that's very rarely mentioned anymore. Michael Jordan had numerous affairs. He was never fired

    August 13, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  63. Calvin

    We know that there are a double standards. Take the case of Kelvin Sampson (former coach of Indiana University). He got fired, and suspended from coaching college basketball. His crime? Lying about making phone calls in violation of NCAA rules.

    Rick Patino cheated on his wife (at least, once that we know about), embarrassed his family, brought shame upon the University of Louisville, violated terms of his contract, and paid for an abortion. I dare think what NCAA rules he violated. Now, people are suggesting that he not be fired? Give me a break. Rick's Attorney claims that the $3,000 was not for an abortion (sic). Okay, I'll fall for the okey-dok. Now, Rick, or Mr. Attorney please tell us, what was the money for?

    Man up Rick, resign, and spare the university further embarressment. 'nuff said!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  64. Elliott

    Extortion is a crime. Consenual sex is not. It is up to Louisville to decide if he violated his contract, but I would give him a pass and probation. If they let him go he will be snapped up in a instant by another basketball program Louisville will have to rebuild.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  65. Nancy Barton

    If senators and congressmen can stay in office after having affaires, why shouldn't a basketball coach.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  66. Donna Mullins

    As a loyal fan of all Kentucky sports and a long time former resident of Louisville {(one of the greatest cities in the US in which to live ), I believe that Patino is truly a great coach and but who am I to judge his personal life? While I cannot condone his behavior and personal choices, how does this affect his coaching ability? I simply put him in the same catagory as Kobe Bryant, Bill Clinton, Gov. Sanford, JFK; I could go on and on! Needless to say, karma will eventually bite you in the butt.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  67. Mike

    President Clinton didn't loose his job for indiscretions. Why should a basketball coach. Both have influence on the young, some more than others.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  68. Nelson Valosen




    August 13, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  69. Wil

    you know something, tha best lesson you will ever learn is "tha one you pay dearly for" just ask VICK and another thing this i'm aware of, VICK got what he got mainly because he did'nt tell of everybody that was actively fighting dogs around here in ATLANTA like a former greenbay QB & RAPPERS & ROUNDBALL players tha list goes on and on, MIKE VICK took it like a man and did'nt roll over like a punk, now that coach needs to "PAY THA PIPER" 🙂

    August 13, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  70. Alex

    Its ridiculous to compare Mr. Pitino's unfortunate situation to that of Michael Vick. One was at worst- unethical, and the other was at best- a crime. I think its good policy to fire people guilty of crimes- after all, in some instances (like Vick's) they'd be unable to work anyway given their likely commitments to the dept of corrections. Despite holding them to saint-like standards, coachs are nonetheless people, and people are imperfect creatures. If there has been any crime in the Pitino situation it was committed by the woman who attempted to extort millions of dollars from a respected and famous individual. The abortion issue is just that – an issue, an accusation from a woman making good on a threat to tarnish this man's image. Lest we forget that abortion is (dare I say) legal, it is doubtful that a woman capable of extortion, can be trusted on accusations inextricably linked to that extortion.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  71. Jeffrey Moore

    Rick, i really like your show and think that you are excellent at what you do BUT I'm gonna have to slam you a little bit on this topic. By even posing this question you are contributing the the "nanny state" that we are becoming and damaging our kids. Here's how. You are sending a messege that we should expect people to be perfect and that there is no redemption and if they are flawed that they are no longer of use and that one minor error can and will destroy you.WE rush to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" and its wrong and irresponsible. How should our kids feel about themselves when they make inevitable mistakes? Also, you are marginalizing a very important issue. While it is neccessary to teach our kids how to do the right thing and how to be winners, it is equally important to teach them how to handle defeat and how to deal with personal adversity. I think that a coach who is charged with teaching young men how to be men must also teach and show them how to accept responsibility for wrongdoings, how to make ammends and how to pick themselves off the floor, dust themselves off and overcome adversity even when that adversity is self-generated. The very fact this this question has been posed demonstrates the media's (yes, you Rick) "what have you done for me lately" attitude. A person should be judged for the totality of their deeds and not just for one bad lapse in judgment (barring of course heinous crimes – A La Micheal Vick, and even he deserves a chance at redemption now that he's been punished and paid for his crime). Should we devalue Martin Luther King's accomplishments because there may be evidence that he cheated on his wife? Of course not! What if Ghandi was found to have been an opium user? Would that mean that we should ignore his legacy? These things are nonsense but that's how the media has reduced people ( politicians, leaders, sports figures, entertainers and other public figures) and their lives. So what if someone makes a bad call in their personal lives? You aren't perfect. None of us are yet we still manage to get up and go to work everyday and do our jobs to the best of our ability. Why can't they? This isn't a "public trust" issue. Its none our our business and its none of your business. Its their family's business. It s time for the media to unblur the line between someone's personal and private life. The media is co-signing an atmosphere of hypocrisy and as we have seen in recents years and months with our politicians slamming each other for something and then being found out to be doing the same thing, it permeates through our society. How do you expect the world to take us seriously if when they tune into to our news shows and only see a nation of emotional toddlers, whining and complaining about trivial things and pointing fingers at one another? For a country that has the ideaology that one can change and direct one's destiny woven into its very fabric, we sure seem extrordinarily ignorant, self-absorbed, self-rightous and incapable of practicing what we preach. Is THAT the America you want Rick? YOU ( the media) bear the responsibility on not only taking the pulse of the nation but also infuenceing it. You're supposed to do this to make us better and direct us to stand by our high ideals not appeal to our lowest common denominator.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  72. kassey

    Rick Pitno is/was a public figure, he decided to cheat on his wife ruining her life as well as his five children. Now his wife and children are humileated and will be suffering the rest of their lives because of Pitno'a stupid actions. Pitno has many kids looking up to him because of his position with Louisville. If he is allowed to stay these children (boys especially) will believe Pitno's actions are no big deal. He should gooo! Also, this woman trying to commit extortion should GO TO JAIL for a very long time. She already received $3000.00 from Pitno and should be forced to pay that money back to Mrs. Pitno. Get rid of Pitno and send this woman to jail!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  73. Sam

    Pitino, and the woman broke the law in having sex in public. Both should be in jail.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  74. John Spence

    What does having sex in a restaurant six years ago have to do with keeping a job? And extortion is a crime in all the fifty states. A felony to boot!

    August 13, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  75. Dirk Peddler

    No he shouldn't loose his job. This was something he did in his private live, what's next, ever married man and married woman who gets caught cheating is going to loose their job too? It's a double standard. People should stay out of other people's lives.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  76. donnie

    If the President of the United States can have an affair and keep his job, so should any other person. Really, are the standards less for the President?

    August 13, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  77. Michele Balan

    I think there is a big difference between Micheal Vick who killed helpless dogs, to someone who had sex with another adult.. he wasn't sleeping with a chld and commiting a crime.

    If sex is a crime.. remove it from all the prime time shows!

    August 13, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  78. Paul

    In regards to Pitino, it is widely believed that he lost a priced recruit within the past week to Syracuse University due to the candal. The recruit is a brazilian born 7'0 center playing high school basketball in FL right now. A MAJOR recruit

    August 13, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  79. David

    America should get over this hypocrisy of being the most upright nation in the world,there are 10 commandments in the bible , some Americans want people to lose their job or go to jail for breaking any one of them.The man committed adultery he will have issues with his family and friends and be shamed for the rest of his life. He should not lose his job over this.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  80. cmarr

    He paid her 3,000 dollars for the abortion and her silence. He should definitely loose his position. He is not only a coach, he is a role model and a mentor for many of these young men. What kind of example is he setting for these men. He knew exactly what he was doing and he disregarded not only his position but also his family by having casual sexual relations without any protection. FIRE HIS BUTT, without any severance pay.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:43 am |

    This story being as it is why is it being compared to the Michael Vick? What does having an affair have to do with the torture, abuse and murder of dogs?

    August 13, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  82. Wally

    The coach should be fired plain & simple! The Unviersity requires its athletes to follow strict code-of-conduct rules, why not the coach? And why is this woman being persecuted in the first place? I'm sure he promised her a lot - especially in the "heat" of the moment. One thing which baffles me is where did they have sex in the restaurant? In the kitchen? Bathroom? YIKES!!

    August 13, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  83. Karen Rucker

    PLEASE SEE MESSAGE to the comment moderator at the end of this comment:

    Regarding your question as to why more negative attention is being directed at the SHE in this mess, rather than the HE (the coach):

    Stating the incredibly obvious, which for some reason you failed to do, extortion is a crime. A biggie. That is why she is in the hot seat instead of him. Rather dramatic to compare this coach to Michael Vick who was involved in multiple illegal activities and some pretty nasty stuff.

    While it is distasteful that some sports coach/jock/whoever father-of-five had sex with someone other than his wife, then paid for an abortion, it is non-criminal unless he involved the university in the payment.

    And Mr. Sanchez deserves an oscar for the overly indignant, dramatic way he presented this story. Obviously a slow newsday.

    Betcha won't share this comment with your viewers, at least not the whole comment.

    The morphing of the news media into news creators, selective reporters, slanters to the right or left, agenda pushers is incredibly tiring.

    Oh well, turning the TV off and back to the real world.

    ****I guess the comment above presented earlier failed moderation. How interesting. But predictable. No profanity, nothing inappropriate. Hmmm. Censorship is alive and well, even in small venues. I didn't expect it to be read, but I was surprised it was not allowed to appear on the blog.

    I must say I like how the reporter (Sanchez) selectively read the comments that supported his premise that it was amazing that this coach was not being crucified like the Michael Vick. It comfirms my comment about the morphing of the news media into "news creators".
    But it did make me laugh out loud when your reporter took credit for Twitter being over-capacity. Woooo. Good one.

    And a further comment: Don't ask for comments unless you want to hear what people really think. And that might include comments that are (in this case, mildly) critical of CNN or someone CNN puts on television to report the "news".

    Then again – asking for comments means that provides employment to the someone(s) who hold the line, protecting CNN, by moderating the public's comments on various CNN blogs. So bravo to CNN for providing jobs and keeping someone out of the unemployment line.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  84. Margret Porter

    What Patino did was wrong but........don't throw stones when you live in a glass house! The public is so quick to condemn anyone that makes a mistake, but overlook our very own. Where would our government officials be if we fired everyone who had ever made mistakes?

    August 13, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  85. Ed

    Pitino will most likely be excused by the University of Louisville even though it's a violation of his contract agreement. He's a winning coach, it's basketball and it's Kentucky. The University of Kentucky has agreed to pay their new basketball coach up to 3.4 million even though the school fell short by 50% of it's anticipated state funding for general education. Basketball is definitely a top priority in Kentucky.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  86. kathy

    I have to suggest to the woman if she did not want the heat she should not have been in the bed of a married man who was in the public eye and to use her pregnancy as a money maker shame on you. and for the coach shame on you for sleeping around with a wife and 5 children at home. but as far as him being dissmissed, well if you judge him for having an affair and see him as a bad role modle for our children then you must judge every one in education child care ect. because in the public eye or not everyone has some faults. but his affair I am sure would not innfluence his students/ players in a bad way since it is every where. if the an affair of a ball coach was not made headline news and left private were it should be then we would not have to answer this question. Like he is the only person in the world to have an affair.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  87. Jan

    I don't understand WHY there is any question about Pitino being fired!!!! How these men in the spotlight are so easily swayed by a woman coming on to them makes me question their sanity. If he's done it once, he's done it again and prob again. And, in a restaurant? I feel for our young people, they have no role models anymore. I"M

    Jan from Anniston, Al.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  88. sandy

    vick committed a crime, pitino did not. we have a lot of government officials that have retained their office after having an affair. I think pitino should talk to his young men and tell them he was wrong and apoligize to them. if she is getting more heat than him, maybe it is because extortion is a criminal act.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  89. kathy

    I have to add the woman who tried to get money in an illegle way should be jailed (I would be)!!!!!!!!!! Mr. patino you should I hope learn a valuable lesson from this , Was it worth what you have at home.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  90. ron

    A wife and 5 children would not cost you $10 MILLION in a life time you picked a gold digger. seems to me it would be cheaper to stay / keep it at home.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  91. cindy

    someone who lives in the general area of Louisville, KY I for one could not care less about someone’s personal private business. It was and is apparent to anyone this woman stalked him from jump. She then married the equipment coach to stay around. I doubt that she was pregnant to begin with . Even is she were and he paid for an abortion so what. She saw a meal ticket but he was not biting, Besides which this was six years ago. Ths country needs to get over it’s hang ups and judgemental ways about sex.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  92. kathy

    The woman in question should be asshamed of herself, oh but there is no shame for being a decitful, money grubbing person, using a child to gain money for a spot in the lime light is shameful and not to mention the way she did it is ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! punish her if she did not want to be in the hot seat she should have stayed out of the bed of a married man with public cverage as a coach. Mr. Patino, shame on you you have failed as a husband/ father, but you can salvage it if wife is willing. to relieve him of his coaching is not going to change the facts, as far as being an influence on the young men he has contact with is rediculous seeing how they see adultry every day somewhere, Mr. Patino is not the only one ever to have an affair . why make it public. If you judge him for this then I feel we need to go thru and judge or check the personal lives of every person who has contact on the daily basis with our children bet you'd be surprissed to find how many have had affairs. Lets keep the coverage to sports on the courts not on in the bedrooms/resturaunts. he is attractive but married.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  93. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Guess what Tony and Crew... Adriana Maxwell isn't the only one reading the bill.. 😉

    August 13, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  94. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Pitino's part in the scandal is a personal one; The woman's part is a public [legal] one.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  95. Natalie

    For once I don't know who the "cheating man" is...I gather he's important enough for CNN to pick up the story and fan the flames. Frankly, I am amazed that an age old story from the dawn of time (infidelity) has made such a come back. The reality is that men do not cheat alone...there are women (some cases) men who accomodate them and so it is unfair to crucify one in the public because of his/her position and allow the "partner" off the hook. The human condition is what it is: Egocentric, hedonistic and ...well pig like.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  96. David

    Private affairs are private and should not affect a person with his public affairs such as their job. He should keep his job, if we weren't all such perverts in society then this would have never been brought into public light and would have been dealt with quietly and quickly. Man had sex on a resturant table, who cares bleach it and walk away.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  97. Dee

    What's the big deal?

    If every guy (or gal) who had some sort of affair got fired there would be a LOT of open jobs for the unemployed!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  98. chuck b


    August 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  99. susan

    Kathy and Jan,

    Jan, right on!

    Kathy your comment says more about you then what's being reported.. There was no affair, heck there was no bed.

    This happened at an "Open Bar" as it were. Where the woman introduced herself to Pitino. They went to the back of the bar and later , for his defense he used the bar patrons as witnesses who confirmed the event saying what they observed between the two was a consensual act. They detailed the moans in their official statements.

    This case is all about ick.

    You nice it up with words like affair and bed. This 3-decade married father of five makes millions on a contract that has a morality clause. If he wants to engage in public unprotected and risky *Acts* he shouldn't have signed his contract. It's borderline self-destructive, possibly risking his wife's health also. With a woman who for all he knew could have been "Fatal Attraction" crazy. This is different than an affair. People who do risky things like this often do it serially.

    Jan is right, signing a contract like that and engaging in this type of risk is bizarrely puzzling. Already it's announced this has cost him a major recruit this week. This can go bad very quickly for the school.

    There are a lot of jobs that pay a lot less that don't have such constraints, Pitino should move on.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  100. Mary

    Pitino should STAY, this affair is how old( 6yrs) and is of no interest to anyone other than the Gold Digger trying to extort money. He made a bad choice and should not have to pay for the rest of his life, I think everyone makes a bad choice of some kind in our lifetime.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  101. mary griffin

    Let him go. We place too much on non-pro sports. Why do we pay for college and some high school coaches then we pay for school books.
    Let drops some college pay rates so we can lower school cost.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  102. Dr. Funkinstein

    Rick, the coach is fine. Let them without sin toss the first stone. Speaking of stones, how does Michael Vick serve jail time and be banished from NFL for a dog and Cleveland's Donte’ only receives a year off without pay for vehicular homicide. Only in America I guess... This sport needs an enema!

    August 13, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  103. joseph

    He should stay......Bill Clinton stayed

    August 13, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  104. aaa

    what happens in his personal life is nobodies buisness so let him stay.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  105. kristin caldwell

    louisville coach apologized now unless he broke terms of contract or the law its not our business in my opinion

    August 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  106. Lou

    If this woman was raped, why didn't she file charges back then? Because she is a money hungry, greedy fame seeker. She only is yelling rape now because she got caught when investigated by the FBI. As for comparing this to Mike Vick, how ridiculous, did Patino torture, bet, or kill anybody or animals for his own thrill of illegal betting or for his thirst to see something suffer and die? And quit throwing the race card in here, if a white guy dog fought, he would deserve no second chance, and a life in prison, without parole too. The woman consented to sex, the dogs had no choice. Live the horny guy alone.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  107. Lou

    If this woman was raped, why didn't she file charges back then? Because she is a money hungry, greedy fame seeker. She only is yelling rape now because she got caught when investigated by the FBI. As for comparing this to Mike Vick, how ridiculous, did Patino torture, bet, or kill anybody or animals for his own thrill of illegal betting or for his thirst to see something suffer and die? And quit throwing the race card in here, if a white guy dog fought, he would deserve no second chance, and a life in prison, without parole too. The woman consented to sex, the dogs had no choice. Leave the horny guy alone.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  108. Denise

    Are you kidding me? To compare this guy to the two egomaniacal football players (Vick and the one charged with manslaughter) and saying there are double standards? I cannot believe that this even came up on the air. Stop trying to make something out of nothing. In this guy's case – two consenting adults. In the other cases – innocent animals and people lost lives. Apples and oranges, stupid.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  109. J.Luna

    Rick I feel like you were attacking Ms.Jackson Lee. I think that there are exceptions to the rule and that she was very clear when she said that the call partained to the issue at hand in the towne hall. That's clear to me. Not to you???

    August 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  110. Kurt Kreiger

    Yes, he should be able to stay. What he did could definately be perceived as wrong, but she wanted hush money. That, to me is much worse than the 2 agreeing on an abortion, of both of their infidelities. I think Pitino should be more worried about what his wife abd Family have to say in the matter, rather than the Dean – or the fans.

    August 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  111. olga

    I think that according to the contract outline, which includes the moral clause. Universities are not very lenient with students misconducts like cheating and plagiarism, why should the stuff, who is a role model to the students be excused from the responsibility for his actions?
    He betrayed his family, and the compromised his role as the educator and leader. Tough....

    August 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  112. Rebecca

    This is something personal between his family and himself. I do believe the publicity of this scandal proves to be a life lesson for many. However, it is none of our business. He owned up to his mistake. He should be forgiven and we should all move on.

    August 13, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  113. Kim St Thomas ON

    Since when does the personal life of a coach have anything to do with his/her ability to perform in their job? I concede that having the tryst was obviously wrong, but having had someone try to extort millions from him, I think that in the end, the coach is the victim here, not the villain.

    August 14, 2009 at 12:21 am |
  114. Natalie

    Who cares. Somehow adultery, and infidelity has made a major media comeback as though it were something new. Question should be should the media continue to embarrass the wives and children of these people who make lots of money, have lots of fame but can't control themselves for 2 minutes without supervision. Besides I have a feeling that if all these news stories were about women cheating rather than men, going or staying would not be the issue. They would be "ghost".

    August 14, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  115. Robert Lake,MI

    When we start holding people accountable for their actions then they will start doing whats right but as long as we have ignorant people out there thinking his job and money are more important than the example he shows as a college official. I bet all we will do is teach his basketball players how not to treat women and their exsistance is purely for the sexual use of men! I bet if he were fired the next coach will think twice before he committs adultry and sets a very poor standard for his players and children! If all you do gooders out there think he did nothing wrong then the next time your daughter is exploited by a man then you`ll be there shakey his hand and congradulating him on his conquest.....think before you turn so liberal, it makes me want to puke!

    August 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  116. Robert Lake,MI

    If the coach cared about his wife and children then he would not have conducted himself in this manor to begin with! Had he not open the door for a lawsuit then he wouldnt be getting sued! He should be held accountable for his actions and the last I knew adultry is still a crime in this country and should carry penalties the same as any other crime does! The same people out there that fell sorry for Pintin o are the same people who say Vick did nothing wrong and surely nothing bad enough to lose their job over, you people need to get a life!

    August 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  117. Natalie

    Rick Sanchez you disappointed me deeply with your "rough handling" of the congress lady who was seeking information to answer questions. True, she might have excused herself for a moment and offered that explanation, but in African American culture we believe in respecting our elders and showing deference. I know this doesn't match Blacks sensationalized on the news and in movies as druggies and thuggies, illiterate and the like...but trust me when I tell you – the REAL African American community was turned off by your rudeness. I can't help but think it must be a cultural thing. In the Black community someone may be only a few years older than ourselves and yet we use preface the last (or in some cases) the first name with Mr., Ms, Mrs or whatever. "John, how in the hell are ya?" is just not something thats done in the REAL Black community.

    Live and learn Rick.

    August 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  118. Tracey

    This is the problem in America, we have be come a nation of unaccountability. Some people and agencies are not held accountable for anything. Like the Banks that allowed loans because of greed and now they are given billions of dollars that this nation don't have. But their is no accountability. Like the drugs that are brought into this nation because of greed and hatred. Do you really thing our nation is not apart of the drugs and weapons trafficing. Thing again! So it will depend on how much money this coach pays weather he will keep his job. It has nothing to do with morals , ethics or accountability anymore. So let some Americans continue to destroy our young people who are watching our behavior, witch will eventually destroy America. Because what go's around comes around or as the Bible puts it is "you reap what you sow! PEACE I'M OUT! "A VOICE IN THE DARK".

    August 15, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  119. Doug

    absolutely not! this person is in the shape he is in of his own doing, and now wants others to bail him out. i am 100# overweight and he can do what i am doing – i have changed my diet completely and i go to the gym each day, lifting weights and doing cardio. the weight is coming off and i am asking nothing from no one. there have been many morbidly obese people who have returned to a normal weight, and he can do it too. quit asking for handouts to get cut up, and do it the right natural way

    August 18, 2009 at 11:05 am |