Ex-Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Adidas settle federal lawsuit with confidential agreement


After more than two years of legal battles, Rick Pitino and Adidas have finally reached a settlement agreement. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pitino first filed suit against Adidas in October 2017, alleging the company intentionally damaged his reputation when it cut ties with him by terminating its personal services contract shortly after Louisville fired him amidst the college basketball bribery scandal. In the suit, Pitino alleged that by doing so, "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."

A federal judge dismissed his suit against Adidas 16 months ago, ruling that the two must settle through arbitration.

Pitino sought unspecified compensation and punitive damages, claiming Adidas' actions to be "outrageous, wrongful and illegal conspiracy." Adidas said that Pitino contributed to his own downfall at Louisville, but released the following statement on Monday:

"Over 16 years working with Adidas, Coach Pitino demonstrated his passion for basketball and his commitment to excellence both on and off the court. We wish Coach Pitino the best in his new role as head coach of Panathinaikos, the Greek national team and any future endeavors."

Pitino was fired from the University of Louisville with cause after evidence from a federal investigation surfaced that former five-star recruit Brian Bowen was given money in exchange for his commitment to Pitino's Cardinals. Pitino has staunchly denied any wrongdoing and maintained his innocence throughout.

A Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer, Pitino won 770 games during his 30-year career including two national championships. Pitino now coaches in Greece for Panathinaikos.

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