Atletismo

Atletismo

Report: Rick Pitino Files Lawsuit Against Adidas

Former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has filed lawsuits against Adidas America, Inc. and Adidas North America, Inc. claiming damages caused by the company's bribing of recruits, reports ESPN's Jay Bilas.

The crux of Pitino's lawsuit is the coach's assertion that he had no knowledge of Adidas' alleged bribes, and the their corrupt activity resulted in his firing, which was made official Monday.

Last month, the F.B.I. announced that 10 individuals—including four assistant coaches for Division I programs—had been arrested after a two-year probe revealed rampant corruption and bribery in recruiting practices. No individual coach at Louisville was named in the F.B.I.'s findings, but the university is mentioned in a complaint against Jim Gatto, the former head of global sports marketing for Adidas basketball.

In an affidavit submitted to Louisville's board in a meeting on Monday to discuss his firing, Pitino said, per ESPN:

"I had no part -- active, passive, or through willful ignorance -- in the conspiracy described in the complaint. I had no reason to know about the conspiracy described in the complaint, and no reason to know about the complicity of any UL assistant coach or staff member in any bribery conspiracy. I never have had any part -- active, passive, or through willful ignorance -- in any effort, successful or unsuccessful, completed or abandoned, to pay any recruit, or any family member of a recruit, or anyone else on a recruit's behalf, as an inducement to attend UL."

In the document, Gatto and two accomplices (Merl Code and Munish Sood) are accused of funneling $100,000 through a Louisville coach to five-star recruit Brian Bowen to secure his commitment to the university. A Louisville coach referred to in the suit as "Coach-2" is accused of calling Gatto to ask for more money to bribe Bowen. Coach-2 is believed to be Pitino, though the coach has denied knowing anything of the alleged scheme.

Pitino told the The Courier-Journal after the scandal went public that he believes he "will be vindicated." Despite his seemingly steadfast belief in his own innocence, Pitino was first put on unpaid disciplinary suspension and then fired for "just cause" by Louisville, which would allow the university to abstain from paying the remainder of Pitino's contract.

Adidas released the following statement regarding Pitino's lawsuit, via ESPN's Darren Rovell:

"Mr. Pitino's lawsuit is clearly a reaction to his termination yesterday and is without merit."

At Louisville, Pitino was one of the highest paid coaches in college basketball with an annual salary topping $7 million. Notably, a good portion of Pitino's salary was paid by Adidas, which is the official sponsor of Louisville athletics. The overwhelming majority—98 percent—of the money Adidas owed Louisville from a $39 million endorsement deal ended up in Pitino's pocket, per The Courier-Journal. In 2014–15 and 2015–16, Pitino was paid $1.5 million by Adidas each year, while the basketball program got $10,000 the first year and $25,000 the next year. In 2015-16, Adidas reportedly paid Pitino $2.25 million.

World Athletics Championships

Athletics - World Athletics Championships – Usain Bolt's farewell ceremony – London Stadium, London, Britain – August 13, 2017 – Usain Bolt of Jamaica gestures. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Usain Bolt Press Conference

Athletics - Usain Bolt Press Conference - London, Britain - August 1, 2017 Jamaica's Usain Bolt during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Men's 100m Semifinals

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Semifinal - Men's 100m Semifinals - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 14/08/2016. -Usian Bolt (JAM) of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 m Semifinals. REUTERS/Murad Sezer. Picture Supplied by Action Images

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Men's 100m Semifinals

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Semifinal - Men's 100m Semifinals - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 14/08/2016. -Usian Bolt (JAM) of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 m Semifinals. REUTERS/Murad Sezer. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Le marathon napolitain

Il court, il court, le Napoli. Pour larguer la concurrence en Serie A, les hommes de Sarri galopent, partout, tout le temps, sur le pré. Reste à voir si cette débauche d'énergie et cette quête de Scudetto sont compatibles avec un parcours en Ligue des champions, qui se poursuit ce soir avec un déplacement à Manchester City.Manchester CityNaplesle 17/10/2017 à 20:45Groupe F - Ligue des championsDiffusion sur Lire la suite sur sofoot.com

Rick Pitino out at Louisville as expected amid federal probe

Steve Pence, attorney for basketball coach Rick Pitino, speaks to reporters following the closed door meeting of the Louisville Athletics Association, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Rick Pitino out at Louisville as expected amid federal probe

Steve Pence, attorney for basketball coach Rick Pitino, speaks to reporters following the closed door meeting of the Louisville Athletics Association, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Steve Pence, attorney for basketball coach Rick Pitino, speaks to reporters following the closed door meeting of the Louisville Athletics Association, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Steve Pence, attorney for basketball coach Rick Pitino, speaks to reporters following the closed door meeting of the Louisville Athletics Association, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

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