Rick Pitino is coming for money he’s owed from Louisville’s decision to fire him.
The Hall of Fame coach is seeking more than $35 million in a federal breach of contract lawsuit against the Louisville athletic association that was filed Thursday, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Pitino was fired by Louisville last month as part of the fallout from the federal investigation into corruption in college basketball. It was alleged that $100,000 was funneled from an adidas executive to the family of a recruit, believed to be top-25 prospect Brian Bowen, to steer him to Louisville.
“(Pitino) had no part whatsoever in any scheme to pay the family of a UL recruit, or to otherwise improperly provide benefits to any recruit, as an inducement to join the basketball program,” said Steve Pence, Pitino’s lawyer, said in a statement to the Courier-Journal.
Pitino previously filed a lawsuit against adidas claiming the apparel maker damaged his reputation. His suit against Louisville alleges that the school did not have reason to fire him “for cause,” which would allow the school to not pay Pitino the buyout in his contract which was scheduled to pay him $4.3 million a year through 2026.
Louisville is currently 4-1 under interim coach David Padgett, who took over the program after Pitino’s firing.