Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lewdy-ville


Consider this scenario: A married man with five children who works with young people, some as young as 17 or 18, has sex with a woman in a restaurant after a night of drinking and later antes up $3,000 so she can have an abortion. Do you think he'd be likely to lose his job? Not if he is ultra-successful Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. The coach has admitted that he had sex at a restaurant table after hours with Karen Sypher, a woman now accused of trying to extort money from Pitino after the sordid affair. A couple of weeks later, she came to him, said she was pregnant, expressed an interest in getting an abortion but said she didn't have health insurance to cover the procedure. Pitino coughed up $3,000. At a news conference Wednesday, he said he wasn't specifically paying for an abortion, just for health coverage for Sypher. Riiiight. It was just a coincidence that the health insurance was used to abort an allegedly Pitino-fertilized egg. While some allegations might be debatable, and others may be in dispute, the image Pitino is projecting now is that of an alcohol-fueled, scheming, abortion-buying adulterer. Is this the person you want leading the young men on a college basketball team? At Lousville, based on the statements of college leaders, that answer is a resounding "Yes!" This despite the fact that Pitino's contract has a morals clause that allows dismissal if the coach is guilty of moral depravity or puts the school in a bad public light. He's lucky there's not a clause regarding hypocrisy, because Pitino has always portrayed himself as a devout Catholic who even took a priest friend along on road trips as a spiritual adviser. But the "good folks" at Louisville are turning a blind eye to the coach's transgressions and figuratively wiping their behinds with the page of Pitino's contract that involves morality and common decency. After all, he wins lots of games and brings in big money to the school. And in college basketball, where elite players are gone almost as quickly as they arrive on campus, big-name coaches are the stars. If this were a second-year coach with a so-so win-loss record, he'd be gone quicker than you could say Jack Robinson. It would be ever-so-convenient for the powers to be at Louisville to send an underachieving coach packing without having to pay the rest of his contract while wringing their hands and lamenting his unconscionable moral failings. In America, we typically believe in giving our fellow man second chances. But some actions, by some people, are not forgivable, or shouldn't be. If an apprentice carpenter crafts a bad window frame, he deserves another chance. If you're a bank teller, and your cash drawer comes up short $50 one day, you deserve another chance. But if you're a newspaper reporter who deliberately submits a false story, you should be canned immediately. If you’re a county treasurer who pockets tax money, you should be fired and put on trial. And if you're a married father of five, and you engage in morally repugnant behavior with a stranger after a night of drinking, and then pay thousands of dollars to "clean up" your little mess, you should no longer be leading young people. We all fall short of leading the lives we should be leading, but certain jobs carry expectations of a higher standard of integrity and upstanding behavior. There are lines that cannot be crossed, behaviors that cannot be forgiven. Pitino has failed miserably in meeting those standards. But we are now a nation in which egregious crimes against morality that once brought harsh indignation are met with a shrug.

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26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Brant! How could this woman get health insurance after she became pregnant? I know of no health insurance carrier that would insure this woman after the fact, let alone pay for an abortion. Petino gave the money for the abortion and is now lying about it. What a jerk. He says he apologizes to his family every day for his transgression. His family must be getting very tired of the apologies as the "affair" happened six years ago. His boss at Louisville is a devout Catholic, so I don't think we have heard the last of this.


Chuck

August 13, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hypocrisy? You support govt run health care that will provide women govt funded abortions. YOU ARE PISSED THAT A RICH MAN PAID FOR AN ABORTION! You can't have it both ways.

August 13, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I find abortions that are performed solely for the purpose of birth control or to avoid unwelcome obligations to be the height of irresponsibility and also morally repugnant. But there are some cases in which abortions are medically necessary, at least in the eyes of most people. If the government pays for those under a health-care plan, I have no problem with that. There are some people who think that the use of IUDs or the morning-after pill are murder. Some think it's even wrong to use a rubber. There are many different ideas about what sort of birth control or birth termination is acceptable. What we all should be doing is understanding that abortions are going to be legal in this country - at the very least in parts of this country - for much longer than any of us are going to be alive, and what we should be focusing on, perhaps, are ways in which we can address the underlying behaviors that lead to abortions.

August 13, 2009 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Before this topic heads down the trail of abortion debate, I just want to say that this whole situation exemplifies the fact that in this country, we place far more value on entertainment than we do on morals, ethics and personal responsibility.

You made some excellent points, Brant. And there is some terrific writing in that piece. Kudos!

August 13, 2009 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Dawn Keller said...

The cynic in me says whether he gets fired will ultimately be about money and wins not morality. Will alumni stop giving because of his behavior? Will recruits stop coming? When he's sitting in the living room talking to Mom, Dad and the next best player, will Mom and Dad be thinking about the coach's behavior? Will they be thinking they don't want him guiding their sons or will they be thinking that they don't care about his personal behavior?
I think the answers to those questions will determine his long-term fate.

August 13, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And your post would be about bible thumping right wingers if he was removed.

August 13, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Actually, I'd be praising them for doing the right thing. For heck's sake, one doesn't have to believe the Bible is the unerring word of God to be morally offended by Pitino’s actions. Christians don't have a monopoly on morality.

August 13, 2009 at 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, since you brought it up, you have to have a belief system to make the assessment of right/wrong. But, yet you, and others who frequent O-R boards, who claim atheism, "I don't believe in anything." Can't get from here to there.

You say Christians don't have a monopoly on morality. You claim to not have any basis for morality because you have no belief system. The wires don't connect on this one. Either you have a basis for calling out Pitino, or you don't. Your piece does call him out, and I agree with your assessment. But, if you have no basis, how can you begin to approach these issues?

To the poster above about having the coach sit down with their young man, I say this. This incident won't impact his effectiveness one iota. Too many people are hell-bent on getting their offspring to big money in the professional leagues. Whether or not the coach has a significant moral defect is irrelevant, IF they think he is the ticket to stardom at the next level. He could be even a bigger scum bag, and it wouldn't matter. Consider other athletes who have done things most of us would consider immoral (e.g. Santonio Holmes of the Steelers for one -- how many children, by how many different women? I've lost count, but at least three.). Consider entertainers who flout immoral behavior as if some badge of honor, yet they are acclaimed on the screen, and rake in $Ms. Even in today's USA Today, the case of the former MLB pitcher, Ororro (?). He admits to taking over a dozen different supplements to enhance his performance. Who cares? Nobody. Read the story closely, and you will find parents are giving this stuff to their children as young as five years old. Why? To get them to high level sports. Foolishness, to say the least. So, why won't the sports mongers overlook Pitino's exploits? I think they will. He may even be held up as a hero(he didn't stick the woman for the cost of the abortion, he coughed up the money himself -- downright big of him, huh?).

August 13, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It fun watching Brant get run on his on blog.

Brant I hope they take all the remains from every govt funded abortion and plot them in the buffalo cemetery. So every morning you and your wife can watch them put another baby. Thats what you want!!!!

Everyone else read this.. BOB and Brant was to busy to read it..

http://www.classicalideals.com/HR3200.htm

August 14, 2009 at 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice to know the locals hate you too.

August 14, 2009 at 1:21 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Just because someone doesn't embrace an organized religion doesn't mean they don't believe in anything. They just don't believe in Bible stories, etc. And while I support a woman's right to end a pregnancy, I personally find it repulsive, except in certain instances, such as when it's medically necessary because of a threat to the mother's life. It's a difficult issue, and climbing on board with people on either fringe of the debate really does no good. To suggest that I'm a cheerleader for government-financed abortions is just ridiculous. To the next-to-last poster: That link couldn't have made any less sense. There's no context whatsoever. Explain, yourself, the exact problems you have with the current health-care reform proposals. Then we can talk.

August 14, 2009 at 4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You have to have a belief system to make the assessment of right/wrong." Are you serious? Do you really think that people who claim no religious belief can't know the difference and make good decisions? Obviously even people with a belief system make stupid decisions observations. Your post is case in point. Unless you are Jesus, your are not perfect. You are not Jesus...are you?

August 14, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I am...

Just sayin'

August 14, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I thought you were the walrus. coo-coo-ca-choo.

August 14, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I fail to understatd is why a couple of anonymous posters who obviously have a deep seated hatred for Brant would even be posting on this blog. Discussing the topic in question is one thing, but slinging personal insults is out of line. If you don't like what Brant is posting, then stay the hell away. Let those with obvious superior intelligence than you do the postings.


chuck

August 14, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Chuck. While I seldom agree with Brant, that's what makes the world go by. I can disagree with many of his views, yet at the same time have genuine respect for his writing talent.

August 14, 2009 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I'm always fascinated by bloggers who, when confronted with an opposing point of view for which they have no intelligent argument to rebut, immediately attack the person making the comments.

Those of you attacking Brant should read his original post again. Nowhere in the post does Brant advocate abortion. He didn't delve into the debate about government-funded abortions or the topic du jour, health care. He was addressing a low-life coach's disgraceful behavior and what has happened in this country when it comes to sports and money, how people can look the other way in exchange for another winning season or more alumni donations.

You don't have to know Brant personally to see that he has a belief system. Read some of the past posts. Sure, he's pretty damn liberal, but no matter how far to the left he goes, he can back up his statements with intelligent writing and facts. He has never attacked any poster the way some have attacked him even though he had the right to on many occasions. That should tell you something about him right there.

Stick to the discussion. If you can't make your point without insulting or attacking another poster, then find something else to do with your time, because you're wasting ours.

August 14, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To PRIguy, your're absolutely correct. Lets keep the discussions on the topic at hand and not get personal. Your post proves what I said previously. If you have nothing to say on any topic, stay away and let those with some intelligence do the posting. I very seldom post anything as I could never ever be able to converse like most of the posters on this blog. I don't always agree with Brant,but do respect who and what he is.


Chuck

August 14, 2009 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Appreciate the words, guys. Things sometimes do get heated, but I think most of us do a good job of showing respect for one another, no matter how off-base we might think the other person is. It only takes one goofball to throw everyone into the gutter.

August 14, 2009 at 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, I thought you told your parents that you know they love your work and to please stop fu$k*ng up your numbers.

August 17, 2009 at 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you called the young men that he works with young people rather than children as some commentators have. One of the problems that is repeated all the time is to call young adults children.
It is this attitude that leads to laws like drinking age and restrictions on entering Casinos. If you are an adult, then you should be one.
Personally, I think that Petino made a stupid mistake. I don't think he should be fired for it as it has nothing to do with his job. If a man committed a similar offense and was a high level corporate exec or a fri cook I would not want them removed either. He is working with adults (with the rare I am almost 18 child) and that means they are old enough to work with him. He also was not chasing children, but waitresses.
Adultry is stupid, but it is not a fireable offense.
Brant, I love your blog, but you go to the extremes too often.

August 17, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what happens to the woman he had sex with? The one who, by your account, indulged in bad behavior and decided later that she would rather abort the baby than deal with any inconvenient consequences. Do we have any details about her situation? Was she fired from her job?Shouldn't both man and woman be held to the same standard here?
I think both have acted immorally. And let's remember that in our country (last time I checked), it's the woman who signs on the dotted line to have an abortion.

August 19, 2009 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Clearly, the woman also acted immorally by carrying on with a person she had to know was a married man. But if she's a 7-Eleven clerk, I think there's a difference between that and someone whose job inherently involves providing an example and guidance to young people.

August 19, 2009 at 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, typical left wing crap. The poor don't make decisions, they are exploited by the rich. Give it break. The job is not with children, it is with young ADULTS. They understand sex my man.
The woman knew who she was having sex with and wanted a rich, well known man. Bunch of blame the rich white guy crap.
Sorry that you don't make lots of money because that is always the driving force from those that which to condemn.

August 19, 2009 at 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, typical left wing crap. The poor don't make decisions, they are exploited by the rich. Give it break. The job is not with children, it is with young ADULTS. They understand sex my man.
The woman knew who she was having sex with and wanted a rich, well known man. Bunch of blame the rich white guy crap.
Sorry that you don't make lots of money because that is always the driving force from those that which to condemn.

August 19, 2009 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Who said anything about poor people being exploited by the rich? What does that have to do with moral or immoral behavior and its effect on a person's ability to do his or her job? And I have no problem with people making lots and lots of money, and lots and lots more than I. I've always been of the opinion that if you can get somebody to pay you $10 million to hit a ball or act in a movie, more power to you. You can take your amateur psychology skills elsewhere.

August 20, 2009 at 6:33 AM  

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