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In brief: Louisville president told Pitino to apologize

Tue., Aug. 18, 2009

Basketball: University of Louisville President James Ramsey says he considered several options to deal with the scandal surrounding Rick Pitino before telling the coach to publicly apologize, according to a memo released to the Associated Press on Monday.

Pitino apologized Thursday, a day after police documents were made public that said the coach acknowledged having sex in 2003 with a woman accused of later trying to extort him. He also said he gave Karen Cunagin Sypher $3,000 after she said she was pregnant and seeking an abortion.

Pitino said he was “sorry for that indiscretion six years ago” and that he would continue to coach at the university as long as he was physically able and as long as they wanted him.

Ramsey said in the memo sent to faculty and staff on Thursday that Pitino deserves a second chance.

“I considered a wide range of options in dealing with Coach Pitino’s errors in judgment and their impact on our university,” Ramsey wrote in the memo. “In the end, I told Coach Pitino that he needed to publicly apologize to the university community for his actions. He has done that.”

It was not clear what other options Ramsey considered. Asked what they were, university spokesman Mark Hebert said the letter would have to speak for itself: “I think that’s all that President Ramsey wanted to say.”

Sypher has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to the FBI and attempting to extort up to $10 million from Pitino.

Kane apologizes for taxi incident

Hockey: After apologizing for an altercation with a Buffalo cab driver, Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane said the toughest part of the ordeal was his family seeing him in handcuffs.

“They said it’s something they never want to see again,” a subdued Kane said following opening practice of the 2009 U.S. Men’s Olympic orientation camp. “My family didn’t raise me that way, so it’s tough to let them down too.”

Kane said he was worried how his arrest would affect his chances to make Team USA and how fans attending the three-day camp would react.

“At a time like this, obviously, you’re worried about different things,” Kane, 20, said.

Massa looking to get back in action

Auto racing: Formula One driver Felipe Massa says he’s nearly recovered from a fractured skull and hopes to return to racing at the Brazilian Grand Prix in October.

The Brazilian said in an interview with Globo TV late Sunday that he is aiming to be back for the Oct. 18 race, but it will depend on the results of his weekly tests.

Massa says his left eye “is not 100 percent yet” after his life-threatening crash with Ferrari at the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 25 left him hospitalized for nine days with multiple skull fractures.

Infected hand delaying Pavlik fight

Boxing: Middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik’s title defense against Paul Williams has been postponed because of a persistent infection in his left hand.

Pavlik was scheduled to fight Williams at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Oct. 3. Top Rank spokesman Lee Samuels said the company now expects the fight to be held Nov. 21 or Dec. 5 in the same arena on HBO, but Williams’ promoter Dan Goossen says he hasn’t agreed to anything yet.

Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs), who holds the WBC and WBO 160-pound belts, has an infection in a knuckle on the middle finger of his left hand.

Mine That Bird to undergo surgery

Horse racing: Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will have minor throat surgery but his trainer hopes he can run in the Travers Stakes in less than two weeks.

The operation today is to clear a breathing passage. Trainer Chip Woolley says the problem was discovered after Mine That Bird returned from a workout at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

ESPN extends World Series of Poker

Poker: The World Series of Poker and ESPN are extending their deal to televise poker’s richest tournament through 2017.

The cable network and private casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., which owns the series, were expected to formally announce the deal today.

The new seven-year deal begins in 2011, after the current deal expires. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The network is scheduled to begin its coverage of this year’s $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold ’em main event today.


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