He also has a clause in his contract with the University of Louisville that allows his employer to dismiss him for acts of "moral depravity."
Is having sex with a woman you've met in a bar and then paying her $3k for an abortion a morally depraved act? The Louisville Courier-Journal asks an expert:
While an extramarital affair alone is unlikely to trigger a morals clause, giving money for an abortion and being less than completely forthcoming with the university "might be enough," said Brian Socolow, a New York sports attorney who has written on the subject.
"Coach Pitino may be in some danger," he said.
We're not sure why this all works out this way. After all, abortion is a constitutional right, so by paying for the young lady's abortion, was not Coach Pitino merely preserving human rights in the absence of universal health coverage? And since sex is by common consent a private matter, is it not Coach Pitino's solemn responsibility not to be forthcoming?
Or is the real issue public relations: that while many basketball fans, themselves adulterers or aspiring adulterers who wish they had the public profile that Pitino has to get women, will excuse a drunken hook-up, they are less sanguine about the bloody business of abortion? And is the matter of being less than forthcoming with the university a means of transmogrifying what Pitino and his attorneys would style a "private" matter something that exists in his relationship with his employer? Can we imagine a world in which hooking up and paying for abortions routinely is fine as long as you tell the athletic director, though not necessarily your wife? If no, then if the U of L fires Pitino, will it not simply be because it expects the negative PR will damage ticket sales?
We'll venture this: if Pitino eventually resigns, we expect he'll do at least as well in his severance agreement as the $3.6 million bonus he's slated to receive if he's still the Cardinals' coach on July 1, 2010. That'll cover 1200 abortions at the going rate.