Rick Pitino goes scorched earth on Adidas, dishes on Romeo Langford recruitment

Lloyd Doyle
May 17, 2018

When New Albany (Ind.) five-star basketball recruit Romeo Langford committed to IN, he was hailed as a hometown loyalist who wanted to bring success back home rather than chase it afar.

Months before the FBI investigation into alleged corruption in college basketball came to light, former Louisville coach Rick Pitino met with a soon to be indicted former Adidas executive about how the company could keep prize recruit Romeo Langford inside the Adidas camp and away from teams like Kentucky, according to a story published Wednesday by The Washington Post.

"The way they phrased it, it was whoever [shoe company] was going to pay the dad's AAU program the most money, gets it", said Pitino in a recent phone interview.

Pitino - who had his own personal services contract with Adidas until the company terminated it after Pitino was sacked at Louisville in October - reportedly met with two Adidas officials in January 2017 about the matter. Pitino's account was supported by text messages he shared with The Washington Post for a previous story. Shortly after, Twenty Two Vision was launched.

Pitino went on to say "that's the way that world works", adding that the dynamic is completely legal.

Pitino was sacked by Louisville amid an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball recruiting. The Louisville program was implicated, but Pitino himself was not named in the federal complaint. For his part, the elder Langford adamantly denied receiving any financial benefit from the arrangement with Adidas - "It wasn't about money for us". Adidas, Nike and Under Armour each operate basketball leagues, which they use to develop relationships with high school prospects they hope to sign to endorsement deals if they reach the NBA, and steer top talent to their sponsored college teams.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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