Louisville, Ky. — The woman convicted of trying to extort Rick Pitino said she didn’t get a fair trial because of the Louisville coach’s fame and power.
Karen Cunagin Sypher told The Courier-Journal newspaper that Louisville is a small enough city for any jury to be influenced by Pitino.
“I know now there is no justice system. There is no justice,” Sypher said.
Sypher was convicted Thursday of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliating against a witness. Prosecutors said Sypher demanded millions in cash, cars and a house from Pitino to stay quiet about their one-night stand at a Louisville restaurant in 2003.
Sentencing in the case is set for Oct. 27. Sypher said she was “numb” and hasn’t thought about a potential prison sentence. Sypher said there’s additional evidence her attorney did not use at the trial, but she would not say what it was.
“The story has not come out yet,” she said.
Neither Sypher nor her attorney, James Earhart, returned several messages from the Associated Press on Friday.
After the trial, University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich said Pitino wouldn’t be disciplined for his tryst with Sypher because there was no misconduct on university property.
Source: Kansas to get 2nd race
Topeka — A person familiar with the 2011 NASCAR schedule said Friday that Kansas Speedway will get a second race next year.
The person spoke to the Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the schedule hasn’t been released. A formal announcement regarding a second Sprint Cup date at Kansas Speedway may come as soon as next week.
Former UF safety dies of suicide
Seattle — The King County Medical Examiner’s Office says that former Florida safety John Curtis IV has died due to injuries caused by suicide.
The medical examiner’s office confirmed Friday that Curtis died Thursday morning in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue with severe injuries to his head and torso. He was 24 and a native of Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Packers extend Driver’s contract
Green Bay, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers extended the contract of wide receiver Donald Driver, the team’s longest-tenured current player, for two years on Friday. Financial terms weren’t immediately available.
Jets’ Ryan guarantees Super Bowl
Cortland, N.Y. — Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl guarantee is now in writing.
The New York Jets coach was asked to sign his team’s logo sticker on the back of ESPN’s tour bus at training camp Thursday, a few hours after Joe Namath watched practice. Instead of just signing his name, the brash Ryan wrote: “Soon to be Champs.”
Bills ink Spiller to five-year deal
Pittsford, N.Y. — A day after turning 23, Buffalo Bills rookie running back and first-round pick C.J. Spiller arrived at training camp Friday to sign a five-year deal that has the potential to be worth $37 million.
Seahawks sign Okung for 6 years
Renton, Wash. — Russell Okung signed a six-year contract worth a potential $58 million with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday — then went to the field in full pads for his first practice since he was preparing for Oklahoma State’s Cotton Bowl appearance seven months ago.
Officials try to limit head injuries
Houston — NFL referees will take on more responsibility this season to protect players from helmet-first hits to their heads and necks.
The league has expanded its rules to prevent “defenseless” players from taking shots above their shoulders. Groups of officials are meeting with teams during training camp to go over the changes.
Cowboys’ Spears out 4-6 weeks
San Antonio — Dallas Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears will miss the rest of training camp and possibly the start of the regular season due to a sprained left knee. Spears is expected to be out four to six weeks after getting hurt in Thursday’s second practice.
Phelps upended at U.S. nationals
Irvine, Calif. — Ryan Lochte finally fended off Michael Phelps in the individual medley.
Lochte beat his rival for the first time in a long-course medley at a major meet, winning the 200-meter IM at the U.S. national championships on Friday night.
Knicks hire Thomas as consultant
New York — Even after losing all those games and an embarrassing sexual harassment lawsuit, Isiah Thomas has a place with the New York Knicks.
Thomas was rehired Friday by the team as a consultant, two years after he was fired as its coach and president. Thomas will keep his job as coach at Florida International.
UK denies recruit payment report
Lexington, Ky. — The University of Kentucky issued a statement on Friday threatening legal action over a Chicago Sun-Times story claiming that recruit Anthony Davis negotiated a deal to receive $200,000 from someone who wanted him to commit to the school.
The intial Sun-Times story Wednesday cited unidentified sources and stated:
“The rumors/sources that have Davis choosing Kentucky are also alleging that the commitment cost $200,000. (Anthony) Davis Sr. has flat out denied everything.”
UK’s statement said, “Neither the University of Kentucky nor any member of its Athletic Department has offered or paid any money or other illegal benefits to the student-athlete or his family.”
Kentucky also said it may initiate legal proceedings against the newspaper.
Sources: Vols interviewed by NCAA
Knoxville, Tenn. — The NCAA has interviewed several current and former Tennessee coaches and recruits regarding an investigation into possible recruiting violations, people with knowledge of the probe have told the Associated Press.
ESPN reported Friday that Tennessee expects to receive a letter of inquiry soon about possible violations under former coach Lane Kiffin and his staff.
Goosen clinging to 1-stroke lead
Akron, Ohio — Phil Mickelson is closing in on No. 1.
The first step is to make up a one-shot deficit against Retief Goosen, the 36-hole leader Friday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Looking more inevitable is Mickelson finally supplanting Tiger Woods atop the world ranking.
Woods, the seven-time champion at Firestone, hit only three fairways and stumbled to a 2-over 72, which put him 13 shots back.
Armour III fires 63, leads by 1
Blaine, Minn. — Tommy Armour III shot a 9-under 63 Friday and has a one-shot lead over Mark Calcavecchia and David Frost after one round of the 3M Championship.
Cejka holding on to slim lead
Verona, N.Y. — Alex Cejka shot a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead in the Turning Stone Resort Championship.