Rick Pitino's lawsuit against Adidas over alleged reputation damage dismissed by a federal judge

USATSI

Rick Pitino's lawsuit against Adidas alleging the apparel company deliberately damaged his reputation in the wake of the corruption scandal that cost him his job at Louisville was dismissed by a federal judge on Tuesday, according to the Courier-Journal.

The judge in the case sided with Adidas' claim that arbitration out of court is required.

Pitino filed the lawsuit against Adidas in October of last year in which he sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, though his lawyer, Steve Pence, said the lawsuit was more about keeping his name clean than his wallet stacked.

"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 said.

Pitino was initially placed on administrative leave in September 2017 and fired with cause less than a month later after the FBI linked his involvement into nefarious recruitment practices, namely his connection to five-star Brian Bowen, who allegedly received $100,000 in return for his commitment to U of L.

Bowen never played at Louisville and Pitino never coached again after the findings were made public. In the aftermath, Pitino sued Louisville for the remaining $38.7 million remaining on his contract, and sued Adidas claiming it "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."

Adidas filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in November, providing evidence that Pitino was "both aware and supported the scheme" to funnel money to recruits. Pitino is still in a legal battle with the University of Louisville Athletic Association over breach of contract.

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