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Release of police interviews leaves Louisville's Rick Pitino fuming

In audio and video recordings, Karen Cunagin Sypher says the basketball coach sexually assaulted her. She is accused of trying to extort millions from Pitino, who says the tapes are full of lies.

August 27, 2009|Diane Pucin | Staff And Wire Reports

Louisville basketball Coach Rick Pitino said Wednesday a sex scandal involving a woman accused of trying to extort millions from him has been "pure hell" for his family, fuming that newly released video of her police interview revived her "total fabrication."

Pitino spoke at a hastily called news conference hours after Louisville police released audio and video recordings of phone calls and an interview with Karen Cunagin Sypher, the woman at the heart of the scandal. Pitino has told police that he had sex with her six years ago.

Sypher claims in the interview that Pitino sexually assaulted her, an allegation she brought to police after she was accused of trying to extort millions from the coach. She has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of extortion and lying to the FBI.

The coach lashed out at the media for again reporting on her accusations by airing clips of the interviews Wednesday. Prosecutors did not pursue charges against the coach.

"Everything that's been printed, everything that's been reported, everything that's been breaking in the news on the day Ted Kennedy died is 100% a lie, a lie," Pitino said. "All of this has been a lie, a total fabrication of the truth."

PRO BASKETBALL

Report on Rubio is disputed

Minnesota Timberwolves President David Kahn disputed a report from Spain that point guard Ricky Rubio will be staying there for another two years.

The Spanish website Marca.com reported that Regal Barcelona had reached a buyout agreement with Rubio's team, DKV Joventut for $5.3 million.

HOCKEY

NHL states offer for the Coyotes

The NHL is offering about $140 million to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and would avoid a sticky issue still facing the case by accepting the existing lease to play in Glendale, Ariz.

New York Islanders center Mike Sillinger, 38, is retiring after 17 years in the NHL because of an injured left hip.

PRO FOOTBALL

Jets pick Sanchez to be their starter

New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan has made it official: Former USC standout Mark Sanchez is his starting quarterback. Ryan said early in training camp he'd like to make a decision on a starter by the third exhibition. Sanchez beat out Kellen Clemens.

Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin sat out practice because of a sore right hamstring and probably will sit out the Cardinals' game against Green Bay tonight. . . . With backup quarterback Chris Simms hobbled by an ankle injury, the Denver Broncos moved to bolster their depth by signing free agent Ingle Martin. . . . Baltimore Ravens tight end L.J. Smith could miss the rest of the exhibition season because of a pulled hamstring.

ETC.

NBC football show to change

NBC's Sunday night football show "Football Night in America" will move out of the studio and into stadiums this season.

The show, hosted by Bob Costas, will originate from the site of each game. Costas will be joined by broadcaster Al Michaels and analyst Cris Collinsworth. Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will continue to be part of the show from the studio in New York and will be joined by former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy and former player Rodney Harrison.

-- Diane Pucin

Tiger Woods, who has not played the Barclays in six years, will compete in the tournament at Jersey City, N.J., beginning today, and it will mark the first time he competes in all four of the playoff events for the FedEx Cup. . . . Bud Cauley made a 30-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole in a 3 and 1 victory over Rickie Fowler in the first round of the U.S. Amateur Championship at Tulsa, Okla. . . . Team RadioShack, Lance Armstrong's new team, will debut at the 2010 Tour Down Under in Australia on Jan. 17-24. . . . New York Mets left-hander Oliver Perez is out for the season after it was determined he needs surgery on his right knee.

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