Rick Pitino lost his job with the University of Louisville following an investigation by the FBI into improper money coming from Adidas to NCAA schools. Louisville was found to be the beneficiary of cash as the school brought top recruits to the Adidas sponsored school. Pitino also reportedly had a contract with Adidas was worth $1.5 million a year in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Pitino, along with one Adidas employee and a former agent, lost his job following the reveal of his involvement. Now the two-time National Championship winning coach is fighting back to try and get the money he believes he’s owed through the remainder of his contract.
Following comes from Danielle Lerner and Justin Sayers of the Courier Journal.
Former University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is asking for more than $35 million in a federal breach of contract lawsuit filed Thursday against the school’s athletic association.
“(Pitino) had no part whatsover in any scheme to pay the family of a UL recruit, or to otherwise improperly provide benefits to any recruit, as an inducement to join the basketball program,” said Steve Pence, Pitino’s lawyer, said in a statement.
University of Louisville spokesman John Karman said the university is aware of the lawsuit, but declined to comment, citing school policy.
In September, Pitino was “effectively fired” without proper notice, according to the lawsuit. The coach was placed on unpaid leave, locked out of his office and had access to his university email blocked.
The lawsuit also alleges the university had no justification to fire Pitino “for cause” in October and failed to fix the breach within 30 days despite being notified of the breach by the coach.
Claims made in a lawsuit represent only one side of the case.