Rick Pitino: Adidas Reps Met About Keeping Romeo Langford Away from Nike, UA

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 16, 2018

The logo of German sports equipment company adidas AG is printed on a shirt during the annual balance news conference in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said representatives from Adidas met with him to discuss ways to keep 2018 recruit Romeo Langford from youth basketball leagues sponsored by Nike and Under Armour.

"The way they phrased it, it was whoever [shoe company] was going to pay [Langford's dad's] AAU program the most money, gets it," Pitino said in an interview with Will Hobson of the Washington Post.

Langford, who is 247Sports' sixth-ranked recruit in the 2018 class, dropped Louisville from his list of potential schools last September after the school was implicated in the FBI's investigation into corruption in college basketball.

On April 30, Langford verbally committed to Indiana after considering Vanderbilt and Kansas. Indiana, Kansas and Louisville all have apparel deals with Adidas.

Hobson noted a few days after a January 2017 meeting with Pitino that Adidas added a new AAU team, Twenty Two Vision, in the Gauntlet Gold Division with Langford as a featured player.

"That’s the way that world works," Pitino said. "Which is completely legal, by the way."

Hobson added that Tim Langford said in a May 3 phone interview he did not take any money as team director of Twenty Two Vision and his son did not pick a college based on its sponsorship affiliation.

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