Rick Pitino sues Adidas alleging it deliberately damaged his reputation
Pitino was fired from his post as Louisville coach for helping funnel money to players
Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino, who wasearlier this week, has filed a federal lawsuit against Adidas alleging the company intentionally damaged his reputation.
Pitino was fired with cause upon the FBI's discovery of evidence determined that he helped funnel $100,000 in cash from Adidas to the family of Brian Bowen, a former five-star recruit who committed and signed with the school.
"In today's lawsuit, coach Pitino swears that he had nothing to do with, and no knowledge of, the Adidas conspiracy," Steve Pence, Pitino's attorney, said in a statement via the Courier-Journal. Pence also released earlier this week in which Pitino denied knowing anything of the alleged transaction.
Pitino is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the federal lawsuit. However according to his lawyer, the lawsuit is simply a means for him to clear his name.
"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.
Adidas cut ties with Pitino on Monday by terminating its personal services contract with him just hours after the school announced he had been fired by the University of Louisville Athletic Association.
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