The lawsuit comes just one day after Pitino was officially relieved of his duties as Louisville’s head coach.

Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino filed suit Tuesday against Adidas, claiming damages caused by the apparel company’s dealings with recruits.

“We felt our initial decision. was in the best interest of the university”, Postel said, referring to the board’s vote to move forward with Pitino’s termination.

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.

Pitino reportedly stands to lose the $44 million remaining in salary and bonuses on his contract through the 2025-26 season since he was sacked with cause. Adidas executive Jim Gatto and other defendants are accused of funneling $100,000 to the family of a high-school basketball player to persuade him to commit to Louisville.

The suit says adidas “caused (Pitino) to be publicly ridiculed, vilified, and criticized, precisely because their actions make it appear that Coach Pitino knew about or participated in their conspiracy”, Pence said. Though the individual hasn’t been named, speculation is that it’s 5-star Brian Bowen, who was suspended following the FBI investigation.

The complaint states that Pitino had “no part – active, passive, or through willful ignorance” in the bribery described in the FBI’s complaint.

Pitino admitted that he knows and has communicated with Adidas executive Jim Gatto, who was charged as a result of the Federal Bureau of Investigation complaint but wrote that “I have never discussed with him – overtly, covertly, in code, through nuance, or in any other way – the provision of improper benefits to any UL basketball player or recruit”. “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”.