Recently Louisville Coach Rick Pitino has been a target of an extortion attempt by the estranged wife of a Louisville staff member. ESPN, FoxSports and several other news outlets have reported as many available details as they can.
Most people who have read tabloids or watched soap operas can figure out what information this woman is threatening to reveal. Obviously, until actual evidence is presented speculation is all anyone can do but let's consider some things.
- Pitino enjoys being in the public eye. He's a very focused coach and usually gets the most out of his player but he's done more than his share of endorsements, is good with a quote for the press and knows how to present himself on television.
- There have been rumors of similar behavior at his previous coaching stops, including when he was an assistant at Hawaii in the 1970s and during his time at the University of Kentucky. Those rumors could have easily been a product of his rock-star status in Lexington—keep in mind that during his first season his trash was stolen as a memento. But now they have cropped up again with this latest development one has to wonder about the veracity of the previous rumors.
- The longer this investigation lingers the more it will hang over a program that welcomes another great recruiting class and will be in a dogfight to keep its status as the top program in the state at this moment with the hiring of John Calipari at UK.
So what are the possible outcomes? In the likely event the rumors are false life goes on as usual for the Cardinals and their head coach. If they're true, Louisville fans won't see a Roman Empire-like collapse but it's possible Pitino could do something similar to Lute Olson and take a leave of absence in order to deal with this matter.
That could make things very interesting in Derby City. Stay tuned.