Adidas Wants Pitino Suit Thrown Out

Lester Mason
November 28, 2017

Adidas terminated its personal services contract with Pitino on the same day he was sacked by Louisville.

Adidas wants a lawsuit brought by former UofL basketball coach Rick Pitino dropped, pointing at the criminal complaint suggesting he might have known about the alleged pay-to-play scheme as one of the reasons. A change of forum will not change the facts: Coach Pitino had no knowledge of the conspiracy hatched by adidas representatives and others to make payments to a recruit or their family.

"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.

And none of the statements in the criminal complaint that "appear to implicate Pitino in the alleged conspiracy are said to have been made by employees of adidas", according to the response.

The petition also noted Louisville's past NCAA infractions within the men's basketball program under Pitino, including "sex acts performed for underage basketball recruits".

The response includes a letter from Pitino's attorney, Steve Pence, to Adidas on October 18 requesting "immediate mediation" of breach of contract, claiming U of L would not have fired Pitino if the company had not conspired to bribe the family of a recruit.

The response by Adidas repeats numerous allegations in the criminal complaint, which, the company says, "includes allegations suggesting that he was both aware of and supported the scheme".

An affidavit from Pitino's attorney Steve Pence showed text messages between Pitino and Addidas executives that did not mention the exchange of money between the school and recruit Brian Bowen.

"The guilty parties at adidas will eventually be held accountable for their conduct - whether in federal court in Kentucky or another forum".

That is a reference to the Coach-2 comments, where one of the accused says he will have Pitino call Adidas employee James Gatto, who is also charged in the scheme.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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