Fired Louisville coach Rick Pitino sues Adidas, alleging conspiracy

Pitino was sacked this week after Louisville's athletic board unanimously voted for his termination amidst the massive bribery probe.

Pitino, the highest-paid college basketball coach and already in the Naismith Hall of Fame as the only coach to lead teams from two schools to the NCAA National Championship, is the biggest head to fall so far in the NCAA recruiting scandal.

Adidas severed ties with Pitino on Monday after the veteran coach was dropped by Louisville. According to documents released last month by federal prosecutors in New York, Pitino is alleged to have knowledge of these payments, a charge denied by Pitino's attorney in a statement on Tuesday.

The year before, Pitino also got $1.5 million, while the department banked just $10,000.

The 55-page affidavit distributed by Pence included letters of support for Pitino, including one from interim coach David Padgett, named Pitino's replacement on September 29, as well as testimony that Pitino passed a lie-detector test relating to the allegations.

No Louisville employees were named in the criminal complaint that included the university, but the latest in a mounting number of scandals involving the men's basketball program is what prompted the termination of Keatts' former boss. His family allegedly agreed to take $100,000 in exchange for his commitment to the university. The Adidas defendants, Jim Gatto and Merl Code, were among ten people charged.

It says that Pitino believes he is the person identified in an Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit as "Coach-2", a U of L coach who holds sway with Adidas and is accused of helping secure money for a recruit.

"The bribe money ... was structured so as to hide it from the NCAA and officials at the University of Louisville", the complaint states.

Pitino's suit seeks a jury trial along with compensatory and punitive damages.

'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, ' the affidavit continued.

Not long after the decision by the University of Louisville's athletics board was announced, Adidas also said that it has terminated its contract with Pitino. Much of the money from the university's old deal with Adidas was in fact pocketed by Pitino himself, according to ESPN.

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