Former head basketball coach Rick Pitino of Louisville has filed suit against Adidas America, Inc., and Adidas North America, Inc., seeking restitution for “damages caused by the company's bribing of recruits,” according to Sports Illustrated.
Pitino claims that he was not aware of any bribes coming through from Adidas —the official sponsor of Louisville athletics — to the school’s potential recruits.
Pitino was fired from his position at Louisville Monday after the university was named in a complaint against the former head of global sports marketing for Adidas basketball, Jim Gatto. No individual Louisville coaches were among the 10 arrested last month following the federal investigation.
At the board meeting Monday, Pitino was placed on unpaid disciplinary suspension and subsequently fired, with the university claiming just cause to terminate without paying out the remainder of his coaching contract.
Pitino submitted an affidavit to the board, saying, "I had no part — active, passive, or through willful ignorance — in the conspiracy described in the complaint. 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.”
Upon learning of the recent filings, Adidas released a public opinion Tuesday discrediting Pitino’s claim, saying, "Mr. Pitino's lawsuit is clearly a reaction to his termination yesterday and is without merit."