Rick Pitino's Contract with Adidas Terminated Following Louisville Firing

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2017

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino yells to his team from the sideline during the first half of a first-round game against Jacksonville State in the men's NCAA college basketball tournament in Indianapolis, Friday, March 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Former Louisville Cardinals head basketball coach Rick Pitino no longer has a contract with Adidas.

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." 

Adidas' decision comes after the university's athletics board fired Pitino on Monday following a unanimous vote, per Jeff Greer and Justin Sayers of the Courier-Journal.

Greer also shared the resolution from Louisville, which said "After proper notice and an opportunity to be heard, the University of Louisville Athletics Association has voted to terminate Richard Pitino under paragraph 6 of his employment contract for Just Cause."

The just cause designation is notable considering Pitino had $46 million remaining on his contract, per Greer and Sayers.

While Adidas terminated its contract with Pitino, the apparel company has been intimately involved in the process that ultimately led to the coach's firing. According to Phillip M. Bailey, Kevin Johnson and Andrew Wolfson of the Courier-Journal, it was revealed Pitino was Coach 2 in the FBI's probe into corruption and scandal in college basketball.

"The revelation is significant because it reinforced the University of Louisville athletic department's deep ties to Adidas," they wrote.

A Justice Department complaint said "Coach 2" discussed funneling $100,000 from Adidas to a recruit.

While his tenure at Louisville ended in scandal, Pitino led the Adidas-sponsored program to great heights as its coach, winning a national title and reaching three Final Fours.

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