Louisville Suing Rick Pitino for 'Wrongful Conduct' Detrimental to University
The University of Louisville is suing former basketball coach Rick Pitino for "wrongful conduct" and arguing that he is financially responsible for damages the university has incurred as a result of his wrongdoing.
The lawsuit was first reported by WDRB.com's Jason Riley.
The crux of the lawsuit is that Pitino, and not the university, is at fault for the multiple scandals the program has found itself embroiled in during his tenure.
Pitino was fired on Oct. 16 in the wake of the F.B.I's probe into college basketball, which uncovered bribery, wire fraud and corruption across many of the nation's top programs. A man referred to in the F.B.I. complaint as "Coach-2"—which is believed to be Pitino—is accused of funneling $100,000 from Adidas to secure the commitment of Brian Bowen. Pitino denied any knowledge of wrongdoing within his program but said he takes responsibility for his assistants' actions.
The lawsuit focuses on when Louisville was ordered to vacate all its wins between 2012 and 2015, including a 2013 national championship, as well as give back all the money it earned during that period after a woman detailed illegal activities that went on at parties thrown for Louisville recruits. In response, Louisville imposed a self-imposed postseason ban for the 2016 season, and Pitino was later suspended for five games for failing to aptly monitor the program. The suit claims that Pitino is financially liable for the money Louisville had to pay back as well as damages caused to the school's reputation by Pitino.
The university is also seeking to be reimbursed for "any bonuses and other compensation wrongly paid" to Pitino during those seasons.
The lawsuit is officially a counterclaim to the suit filed by Pitino, who is seeking $36 million from Louisville. That figure is what Pitino would be owed under his contract, but the university said that it does not have to pay the remaining money because it had good reason to fire him. Now, Louisville is not only trying not to pay Pitino; it is seeking money from him.
The counterclaim suggests that all of Louisville's scandals, including a 2009 one in which Pitino admitted to having an affair with a woman who then extorted him.