By Kyeland Jackson and Shelby Brown —
Former head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino sued U of L’s Athletics Association Thursday, asking for more than $34 million in damages.
The lawsuit says U of L breached Pitino’s contract by not properly notifying him he was put on leave. The suit goes further, saying the school fired him without proper cause and asking for contract payments up to June 30, 2026.
If a damages clause doesn’t apply, the suit asks U of L pay $12 million for Pitino losing his contract with adidas.
After adidas cut ties with the former head coach the day after his firing, Pitino filed suit. The suit said the company’s actions damaged Pitino’s reputation.
Pitino was fired shortly after the Federal Bureau of Investigation said his program was part of a national investigation. The investigation revealed Pitino’s staffers and an adidas employee bribed a player to join the program. Pitino’s legal counsel, Stephen Pence presented a case for the head coach during a closed session trustees meeting.
“The coach did not engage in any of this activity, he didn’t know about the activity,” Pence said in October.
Citing that investigation, a sex scandal involving the men’s basketball team and a marred reputation, the university unanimously fired Pitino Oct. 16. U of L’s case against Pitino included Just Cause, negative press, contract violations, lack of supervision and lack of compliance.
Two days later, they fired Athletic Director Tom Jurich too.
The university’s Athletic Association voted to hire David Padgett as head coach and Vince Tyra as athletic director following the terminations.
University spokesperson John Karman said the university’s aware of the lawsuit, but does not comment on pending litigation. Jurich has also threatened to sue the university, which is already facing a lawsuit by former chief financial officer Jason Tomlinson.
This story will be updated
File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal