Good morning, fine KSR readers, and welcome to your Humpday, er, I mean Wednesday News and Views for July 28, 2010. What is usually a fairly dull time of year around these parts got a shot of penicillin voyeuristic excitement on Tuesday as another salacious day of the Karen Sypher extortion trial took center stage. While it was full of the expected x-rated details, the big star of the proceedings turned out to be “The Boys”, a collection of who’s who among the Louisville basketball program and the city itself, who apparently joined forces multiple times a week at restaurant/brothel Porcini’s to just bro out and be the big-timers that they are. The Boys, who formed Kentucky’s most high-profile gang since Mark Krebs and Mark Coury called a kid a girl at K-Lair once, will likely now be forced out of the public eye to unite as a secret society in an underground lair somewhere, meaning Louisville – and Porcini’s – might never feel their raw (no pun intended) power again. But, on Tuesday, they were again the great white in the koi pond, soaking up one last moment in the sun as Louisville’s hottest sextet (again, no pun intended). And, for that, let’s give them the proper recognition their unmatched power deserves on this fine Wednesday.
Now, onto some UK notes…
– As was the case with the first two days of this week, the Sypher trial will again be on center stage and, likely, will become the biggest news in sports as Rick Pitino is expected to finally take the stand. While Pitino is not the one on trial, his reputation is going to be before the firing squad on what will likely be a horribly rough day for him. As noted on Bomani Jones’ radio show Tuesday morning (as told to him by a certain lawyer), one of the most perplexing and overlooked aspects of this case is that not only did Pitino essentially volunteer airing his dirty laundry publicly by pressing charges, but he has willingly entered a situation where no one – not the prosecution, who cares only about the extortion charges, nor Sypher’s defense team – enters the proceedings with his best professional interests as a priority in their approach. Even worse, depending on what strategy Sypher’s team takes in her defense of the charges, Pitino’s entire past (including his time at UK) could be introduced and questioned. If there is nothing there, no big deal. But, if the Sypher situation is not an anomaly, it could get embarrassing. An ideal day for Pitino would be talking about everything he’s already admitted and the defense questioning or finding nothing else in his personal life to introduce to the public. Anything else, could make for a horrible day and make his decision to take this so public a million times worse than not putting anyone on the inbounder 18 years ago.
– On a day where most feel that Sypher’s defense found the most success as they poked holes (oops, no pun intended) in a couple of the witnesses and did their best to put a little reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors, there were some clear-cut winners and losers of the day:
1. Fast Food – Long stuck in the shadows of more upscale restaurants as an appropriate date destination, fast food joints got a boost of street cred thanks to “Playboy” Lester Goetzinger, who admitted to getting safely into first base after taking Karen Sypher for a coke at McDonald’s.
2. Service Technitions – In what might be the highlight of the second day, the Courier-Journal (apparently the only “mainstream” media outlet acknowledging this trial) reported this little tidbit regarding Playboy Les’ testimony: “Asked if she knew his name, he said …they had been having sex intermittently since 1999 and that he often wore his LG&E name badge.” So, for all of you working for the cable company or the electric company, you know that little fantasy you’ve played out in your head 1,000 times? Turns out it actually could happen.
3. Reggie Theus – By being named as a member of “The Boys”, Theus publicly becomes part of the “in” crowd for the first time since Hang Time.
1. Marriage – With the entire case already a blow (yikes! another unintentional pun) to the institution as a whole, it was revealed that Playboy Les, like Rick Pitino, was also married during his encounters with Sypher. I have a feeling a certain someone isn’t going to be allowed at any PTA meetings this year…
2. Karen Sypher’s reputation – Umm, again, acting like a hormone-ravaged drunken sorority girl in the second half of your life is not a good look. And, to think, her reputation was so pristine entering this whole thing.
3. Poison Hands – Apparently, attorney Dana Kolter, the second man Sypher allegedly coerced through oral arguments to help go after Pitino, has just released a clothing line called “Poison Hands”. Talk about bad timing. Based on where it finds itself in Google results, there’s no way this doesn’t end up as a diagnosis on WebMD and something your next girlfriend asks if you’ve been tested for.
– On an actual UK note, rumors started circulating late on Tuesday that Donte Rumph has gained eligibilityfor the football Cats. If so, it’s not only a tremendous gain for the defense, but also one heck of a commendable effort for the defensive lineman who originally committed to UK as a part of the class of 2008. Assuming this is true, getting Mister Cobble eligible could add some nice depth to the defensive line.
– Wednesday also rings in the first of many pre-Louisville events as the Governor’s Cup luncheontakes place in Louisville. The event will allow Joker Phillips and Charlie Strong to meet with the media before hitting the links to raise money for the Dare to Care Food Bank. And, of course, it will hopefully confirm Donte Rumph’s eligibility.
– In other football news that could impact the Cats, week 5 opponent Ole Miss is apparently picking up Jeremiah Masoli from Oregon, meaning the team predicted to last in the West and expected to be an easy win for the Cats now has a (former) Heisman candidate under center. Of course, that is assuming Houston Nutt can find a way to get Masoli into the grad school despite the deadline being April 1. This would mark the third consecutive (I believe) high-profile transfer brought in since Eli Manning to resurrect the Rebels. Hopefully his first season is more Brent Shaeffer than Jevan Snead.
– In case you missed it earlier, the closest thing to basketball news came from an interview Coach Cal gave to SI’s Seth Davis. In it, while admitting he thinks it’s a little too early to expect this team to be better than last year’s (hey, we heard that last summer), Cal reaffirmed his confidence in his recruiting strategy, saying “If you recruit guys who you know are going to be there for four years, you’ll probably be in the NIT, and that’s not a good thing at Kentucky. You recruit the best players you can, and if someone is going to take them in the first round, I tell them to go.” Or, in more common terms, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
– On a recruiting note, Austin Rivers included UK in his final five, along with Duke, Florida, North Carolina and Kansas. It’s widely believed that it’s a Duke and Florida race with Duke being the motorcycle and Florida being the tiny little side car. You can check Rivers out in Orlando this weekend and, more importantly, you can buy me a $9 chicken sandwich if you see me.
– Fresh off of throwing out the pitch at the Astros game, Patrick Patterson coached a celebrity team at the MLS All-Star 7 0n 7 game. There are no updates or pictures posted on Major League Soccer’s site, which puts them in second place behind Reebok, who returns no results for “John Wall”, for the worst initiative in updating their site.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we talk about…..well, we’re going to try to talk about other stuff too. Honestly. Anyway, stick around. We’ll get you the UK news. See you in a few…