Is This The Woman Who Allegedly Tried To Extort Rick Pitino?

The flamboyantly behatted lady at left is one Karen Sypher of Louisville, who may or may not be the same Karen Sypher of Louisville at the center of the alleged extortion attempt against Rick Pitino.

Louisville's Fox 41 has identified Sypher, whose husband, Tim, is Louisville's basketball equipment manager, as the woman in question. Details are scarce, so feel free to speculate wildly. In a statement yesterday, Pitino offered little beyond that his family had reported the alleged attempt to the FBI. He vowed to "vigorously defend my reputation and the character of my family against any criminal scheme to extort money."

Meanwhile, Sypher's apparent attorney, Thomas Clay, offered something less than a fire-breathing defense of her innocence:

"There is a federal investigation going on, and there may be criminal charges placed against her as a result of what coach Pitino has brought to the attention of the FBI," Clay said. ". . . There are no counter allegations, and as far as I am concerned this criminal investigation is going to proceed to a logical conclusion and I hope that we can put this matter behind us as quickly as possible."

Someone get this guy a copy of Success Is a Choice.

More details emerge in Pitino extortion case [Louisville Courier-Journal]
Pitino Target Of Extortion Attempt [RTC]