Adidas claims ex-coach Rick Pitino 'supported' plan to pay Louisville recruits

Rick Pitino has maintained that he had no knowledge of Louisville basketball recruits being paid or bribed to play for the school, however Adidas begs to differ.

Adidas has asked a federal judge to dismiss Pitino's lawsuit against the apparel company according to WDRB.com, citing evidence that suggests Pitino  was "both aware and supported the scheme" to funnel money to recruits. Here are details from the WDRB report with the supporting evidence.

The evidence cited by Adidas against Pitino from the complaint includes allegations that the former coach was asked to call an Adidas executive, James Gatto, to get more funding for a recruit. And the company points out that Pitino allegedly called Gatto three times before the recruit announced his commitment.

Not exactly a smoking gun, but it's circumstantial evidence that could be damning nonetheless.

The Hall of Fame coach filed the suit against Adidas in October, alleging the company deliberately damaged his reputation. In it, Pitino claims he had no knowledge of an alleged $100,000 payment being made to former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen, now a freshman at UL, despite evidence uncovered by the FBI to the contrary.

"This lawsuit is about more than just money; it is coach Pitino's vehicle for proving that he had nothing to do with Adidas' outrageous, wrongful and illegal conspiracy," the lawsuit says.

"Adidas knew, or recklessly avoided knowing, that coach Pitino's reputation for honesty and integrity would be seriously damaged by the perception — even if unfounded — that he was involved with the illegal and wrongful payment of money to recruits, or on their behalf," the suit alleges.

In the petition from Adidas asking Pitino's lawsuit be dismissed, it also brings up the history of Pitino's troubles at Louisville, including for recent recruiting violations "involving sex acts performed for underage basketball recruits."

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