As part of his campaign to prove his innocence after he was fired by Louisville last month, former Cardinals basketball coach Rick Pitino filed a lawsuit against apparel company adidas, claiming he was damaged by the company’s scheme to funnel money to recruits, which he could not have known about.
Monday, an adidas court filing suggested otherwise. According to Jason Riley of WDRB.com, adidas has asked a federal judge to dismiss Pitino’s lawsuit, saying Pitino was “both aware and supported the scheme.”
Pitino’s dismissal from Louisville followed the unveiling of an FBI report that suggested adidas had funneled $100,000 to at least one Louisville player in exchange for a commitment to the school. That player has since been identified as Brian Bowen, whom the school recently ruled will not be eligible to re-join the team. Adidas executive James Gatto was implicated in the scheme and presented with criminal charges.
Pitino’s lawsuit claimed that adidas portrayed him as having knowledge of the scheme when in reality he could not have known because it was covered up.
In response, adidas largely re-iterated the allegations from the FBI’s original complaint. The company also said 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.”
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