Louisville Basketball: Rick Pitino Officially Terminated 'With Just Cause'

Attorney pleads Rick Pitino's case to UofL athletics board

ULAA Fires Rick Pitino For “Just Cause”

The ULAA heard from Pitino's attorney, who made the case Monday that his client "could not have known" about activities alleged in the federal investigation.

In August, Louisville signed a new 10-year, $160 million with Adidas that has since come under scrutiny in the wake of the FBI's ongoing investigation into corruption in college basketball.

On Monday, Darren Rovell of ESPN passed along a statement from the company: "In light of the decision by the University of Louisville, Adidas has terminated its personal services agreement with Rick Pitino, effective immediately".

ULAA voted unanimously to fire Pitino for cause after a closed session discussion. "We have to do what's best for the university".

Attorney Steve Pence stated his case while the ULAA was meeting to discuss whether to fire Pitino almost three weeks after the school acknowledged the program's involvement in the investigation.

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Steve Pence, the attorney representing Pitino, stated in a letter that the decision to place the coach on administrative leave was "in material breach of the terms" of Pitino's contract. "'But I vehemently reject its right to do so 'for cause.' I have given no 'cause" for termination of my contract.

Four assistant college basketball coaches at other schools were among those arrested on federal corruption charges on September 26 after they were caught taking bribes to steer NBA-destined players toward certain sports agents and financial advisers.

Louisville is accused of having paid the family of five-star recruit Brian Bowen $100,000 for his commitment earlier this summer. The crux of the argument is that as Pitino denies any wrongdoing in association with the FBI's investigation, Louisville can not fire him and refuse pay him the $44 million he's set to earn over the remainder of his contract. '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'.

Pitino, 65, took over at Louisville 16 years ago after spending four seasons with the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics. Had Pitino been fired without cause, he would have been owed between $44 million and $55 million according to Bleacher Report.

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