Two weeks after former men's basketball coach Rick Pitino sued the University of Louisville for breach of contract, the university is pursuing a counter suit, claiming Pitino's "wrongful conduct" as coach has damaged Louisville's reputation.

According to SI.com, the lawsuit argues that Pitino, not the university, is financially responsible for the multiple scandals that have plagued the program during his 16 years at its helm. Pitino was fired Oct. 16 after an FBI probe uncovered widespread corruption in college basketball. Over the years, Pitino has been accused of being aware of or encouraging recruiting tactics that included funneling money to the families of prospective recruits and enticing prospects with prostitutes. The latter scenario ultimately forced Louisville to vacate all victories between 2012 and 2015, including the 2013 national championship, and return all related earnings.

The university claims Pitino is responsible for that money, as well as ticket sales and enrollment revnue Louisville has lost due to its tarnished reputation. In addition, Louisville seeks payback on all bonuses and other compensation "wrongly paid" to Pitino during this period.

By counter-suing, Louisville is seeking to not only thwart Pitino's efforts to sue the school for the near $37 million remaining on his contract, but actually have Pitino compensate the university. The total damages amount sought by Louisville is unclear as of this writing.

 

Paul Steinbach is Senior Editor of Athletic Business.