Ex-Louisville coach Rick Pitino sues Adidas amid basketball recruit scandal

Rick Pitino officially fired by Louisville amid federal corruption probe

Louisville officially fires Pitino Monday

Documents from Pitino's lawyer show that the former Louisville coach, who was sacked this week following a widespread NCAA corruption bust, texted with Adidas exec Jim Gatto and tried to score some "Zebra" style Adidas Yeezy Boost 350s.

Adidas executive Jim Gatto was arrested in September as part of an Federal Bureau of Investigation crackdown on bribery in college basketball, and is alleged to have used company money to woo top recruits to Adidas-affiliated schools, including Louisville.

On Oct. 2, the athletic association board, which is composed of trustees, faculty members, students and administrators, voted to begin the process of terminating Pitino's contract for cause.

The complaint states that Pitino had "no part - active, passive, or through willful ignorance" in the bribery described in the FBI's complaint. "But I vehemently reject its right to do so "for cause.' I have given no 'cause" for termination of my contract".

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Louisville announced the next day it was informed the university was a focal point of the FBI investigation. Adidas executive Jim Gatto and other defendants are accused of funneling $100,000 to the family of a high-school basketball player to persuade him to commit to Louisville.

It was reported earlier this month that Pitino received 98 percent of Louisville's deal with the apparel company, which amounted to roughly $39 million.

"I had no reason to know about the conspiracy described in the complaint, and no reason to know about the complicity of any UL assistant coach or staff member in any bribery conspiracy", Pitino said in the affidavit presented Monday to the Louisville athletic board.

Pitino was sacked despite recently signing a contract extension worth tens of millions of dollars through the year 2026.

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