Adidas and former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino reached a settlement sixteen months after a federal judge dismissed his lawsuit against Adidas. Terms were not disclosed.
“Adidas and Coach Pitino have entered into a confidential settlement agreement resolving all matters between them,” the joint statement said, according to ESPN. “Over sixteen years working with Adidas, Coach Pitino demonstrated his passion for the game of basketball and his commitment to excellence both on and off the court. We wish Coach Pitino the best in his new role as head coach of Panathinaikos, the Greek national team and any future endeavors.”
Pitino sued Adidas in October 2017 in U.S. District Court , within days of his firing at Louisville for breach of contract following the FBI’s bribery investigation of college basketball recruiting. The legendary coach charged Adidas “outrageously conspired” to funnel money to the family of a Louisville recruit without his knowledge and made it appear he was aware of its practices.
Pitino in court papers said Adidas “knowingly and recklessly caused him emotional distress when its employees conspired to bribe University of Louisville basketball recruits.” He has maintained that he had no knowledge of the bribery scheme.
A federal judge dismissed Pitino’s lawsuit against Adidas last year, agreeing with the sportswear maker that his claim required arbitration and should be heard out of court.
According to the FBI, the bribery allegation involved a $100,000 payment scheme organized by Adidas employees James Gatto and Merl Code and aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins to sign McDonald’s All-American Brian Bowen. Bowen’s father testified that he had received a $1,300 payment from former Louisville assistant coach Kenny Johnson. Another former Louisville assistant coach, Jordan Fair, was also implicated.
Gatto was ordered to spend nine months in prison, while Dawkins and Code each received six-month sentences after a jury returned guilty verdicts on wire fraud and conspiracy charges. All three men filed appeals in March.