Pitino, Adidas reach settlement; terms not disclosed

Sports
Richard Pitino

Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino watches from the bench during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 72-52. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has reached a settlement with Adidas, the Hall of Fame coach and the global sportswear company said in a joint statement Monday.

Pitino had contended in a lawsuit that 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.

Settlement terms were not released but the statement said all issues were resolved.

“Over 16 years working with Adidas, Coach Pitino demonstrated his passion for basketball and his commitment to excellence both on and off the court,” the statement read. “We wish Coach Pitino the best in his new role as head coach of Panathinaikos, the Greek national team and any future endeavors.”

Pitino said he had “nothing to add” when reached by text message by the Courier Journal.Adidas replied with an automated response saying its press office was closed for the holidays.

Pitino sued Adidas in October 2017 in U.S. District Court for breach of contract, alleging that the Oregon company deliberately ruined his reputation. Adidas had terminated its personal services contract with Pitino hours after Louisville’s Athletic Association fired him for cause following the school’s acknowledgement of its involvement in a federal bribery investigation of college basketball. Pitino was not named in the federal complaint.

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.

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