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Food fights

Marshall football orders out, and Rick Pitino regrets getting table service
By MATT TAIBBI  |  August 11, 2010

At least it wasn't a home invasion.

Marshall University dismissed three of its football players this week — one of whom was also charged with assault and robbery.

Running back Antwon Chisholm, wide receiver Fred Pickett, and defensive tackle Mike Fleurizard were kicked off the team by coach Doc Holliday (his actual name) last Wednesday. It seems that a Papa John's delivery man had been robbed a few days before. A Marshall University police officer spotted three men matching a description of the Papa John's thieves; that led police to search some dorm rooms, where they uncovered pizza boxes, which they were able to link to the robbery.

No one has yet been charged in that crime, but Fleurizard was arrested for allegedly attacking yet another pizza-delivery guy on the same day as the Papa John's incident.

A court document from Huntington, West Virginia, alleges that Fleurizard knocked down a delivery man from Z-Brick Pizza and kicked him in the face while two accomplices stripped him of his pizza and $290. Later, the delivery man picked Fleurizard out of a lineup, and he is being held on a $50,000 bail.

All three of these knuckleheads were incoming freshmen. Pickett was a fairly high-profile recruit who had originally committed to West Virginia. Holliday has said that none of the three will be welcomed back to the team. "It's over; they are gone," he told the Charleston Daily Mail.

Give Fleurizard, Chisholm, and Pickett 60 points each. Are college students just more broke this year than in years past? What's with all the robberies?

Fatal attraction
Rick Pitino never had much success here in Boston — to put it mildly — but since he left, it's not like we've been rooting for the guy to be thrown in a wood-chipper or anything. So it is with sympathy that the story of his bizarre and ultimately extremely messy liaison with a woman named Karen Cunagin Sypher is related here.

Last week a jury convicted Sypher on six felony counts, including extortion, lying to federal prosecutors, and retaliation against a witness. The Cliff's Notes version of the story: Pitino and Sypher (then Cunagin) had a brief affair that began in 2003 with a quickie hump in an Italian restaurant that was closed for the night. And a quickie it was: "Our encounter lasted less than 15 seconds," Pitino said during the trial.

The trouble began immediately afterward — literally. Pitino says that as soon as they were done, Sypher joked that she was "extremely fertile" and that her ex-husband had once impregnated her just by looking at her.

A few weeks later, Sypher told Pitino she was pregnant and that she didn't have health insurance. Pitino, ever the gentleman, gave her $3000 to get that situation taken care of.

But after that, she still wanted more money. She began telling Pitino that she would accuse him of rape if he didn't play ball.

Sypher's conviction carries a maximum of 26 years, but it's likely she'll get less when she gets sentenced in October. Until then, she'll stand as one of the all-time deterrents to casual restaurant-table sex.

Matt Taibbi can be reached at

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