INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals looks on in the first half against the Michigan Wolverines during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 19, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Judge dismisses Rick Pitino’s lawsuit against Adidas

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed former Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s lawsuit against Adidas, agreeing with the sportswear maker that his claim requires arbitration and should be heard out of court.

Pitino sued Adidas last October in U.S. District Court for breach of contract, alleging that the Oregon-based company deliberately ruined his reputation. Adidas had terminated its personal services contract with Pitino hours after Louisville’s Athletic Association fired him for cause following the school’s acknowledgement of its involvement in a federal bribery investigation of college basketball. Pitino was not named in the federal complaint.

His lawsuit said Adidas “outrageously conspired” to funnel money to the family of a Louisville recruit without his knowledge and made it appear he was aware of its practices.

Judge David J. Hale wrote Tuesday that while the court agreed with Adidas’ argument that Pitino had already begun his claim, it should be dismissed for improper venue and brought to arbitration in Oregon if it can’t be mediated.

Former Louisville Cardinal caught with stolen gun, weed

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Former Louisville forward Chane Behanan was arrested on Saturday night and charged with receiving stolen property and marijuana possession, according to WDRB in Louisville.

Behanan was a passenger in a car that was pulled over. Officers observed was what termed as “marijuana residue” on Behanan’s lap, while a stolen AK-47 was found in the backseat of the vehicle.

A 2011 McDonald’s All-American, Behanan was a member of Louisville’s 2012 Final Four team and the team that won the 2013 national title. He was dismissed from the program in Dec. of 2013 for what he later admitted was a positive drug test.

Behanan spent time last season playing for the Salt Lake City Stars in the G League.

Rick Pitino disputes Louisville allegation that he thought DePaul might pay Brian Bowen $200,000

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The legal wranglings between Louisville and former coach Rick Pitino now include arguing over the meaning of text messages.

The University of Louisville Athletic Associated says in court documents that a 2017 message between Pitino and an assistant alleges that he knew about DePaul potentially paying $200,000 to prospect Brian Bowen while Pitino insists he was simply trafficking in gossip that he did not believe.

“DePaul trying to pay Bowen 200 k to come there,” the message, revealed in court documents, said. “Crazy world!”

Louisville alleges that the text message is evidence that “a reasonable factfinder could conclude that Pitino was aware of red flags regarding Dawkins’ and Gatto’s involvement in the Bowen recruitment, but that he intentionally failed to disclose those concerns to compliance staff rather than risk Bowen choosing a different school.” according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

Pitino has another interpretation of the message

“I said to (assistant) Kenny Johnson on the phone: ‘I don’t believe a word of it. Where would DePaul get $200,000 to pay Brian Bowen?’” Pitino told the Louisville Courier Journal. “There’s no truth to what this guy said. He’s a nobody in the business. He hates DePaul, this guy. …

“There was no merit behind the thing. That’s why I never brought it to anybody. I get 20-30 text messages: ‘I heard UCLA is giving this. I heard Kansas is giving this.’ There’s no facts. I really didn’t think twice about it.”

The lawsuit stems from the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball, which alleges to have uncovered a plan executed by adidas to funnel $100,000 to Bowen to secure his commitment to one of its affiliated schools. Louisville fired Pitino in the fallout, and the Hall of Fame coach subsequently filed a lawsuit seeking the nearly $40 million that was remaining on his contract.

With that kind of money in question, the back and forth between Louisville and Pitino is nearly certain to be protracted and fierce. It also apparently will include debates about the true messages meant to be conveyed by text messages.

Rick Pitino promises to tell all in upcoming memoir, publisher says

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NEW YORK (AP) — Rick Pitino is ready to tell his story.

The former Louisville coach has a memoir coming in September that will “lay all his cards on the table,” Diversion Books announced Monday.

“Pitino: My Story,” co-written by Seth Kaufman, is coming out Sept. 4. The book will cover everything from his time coaching the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics to his triumphant and troubled career in the NCAA.

Pitino was ousted from Louisville in 2017 amid a multiyear, multischool investigation into the alleged payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks designed to influence recruits.

The NCAA vacated the Cardinals’ 2013 national championship.

Pitino, who has denied any wrongdoing, will take on “opportunistic agents” and “predatory apparel companies” among others, according to his publisher.

Hachimura, Barrett rated by FIBA as under-21 rising stars

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FIBA released a list of 21 players under the age of 21 that starred in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers that were played in recent weeks, and two potential All-Americans popped up on the list: Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Duke’s R.J. Barrett.

We all know the story of Barrett by now. He’s a a 6-foot-6 wing from Canada that put up 38 points, 13 boards and six assists in a semifinal win over Team USA in the U19 World Championships last summer. He’s the top prospect in the Class of 2018 and looks to be the favorite to get picked No. 1 the 2019 NBA Draft.

And Hachimura shouldn’t be a secret here, either. The 6-foot-10 Beninese-Japanese forward was a star for Gonzaga down the stretch last season, and he put on a show in Japan’s win over Australia, going for 24 points and seven boards.

What may be even more interesting are the other names on this list that we are going to see in the college ranks.

Specifically, No. 5: Louisville’s Jordan Nwora. In three games playing for Nigeria, he averaged 21.7 points and 8.0 boards, including a 36-point outburst in a win over Mali. As a freshman with the Cardinals last season, Nwora averaged 5.7 points. Then there is Barrett’s Canadian teammate, Andrew Nembhard, a 6-foot-3 point guard that is headed to Florida. He’s just 18 years old, but he averaged 5.0 assists in 15 minutes playing with Canada’s senior national team. He was ranked 15th on that list.

The other American player is point guard Nico Mannion, a top 15 prospect that just reclassified into the Class of 2019. He was called up to the Italian national team for their final qualifier.

Former Louisville players file suit against NCAA over vacated 2013 national title

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A group of former Louisville men’s basketball players have filed a lawsuit against the NCAA over the organization’s vacation of the Cardinals’ 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four.

John Morgan, one of several attorneys representing former Cardinals captain Luke Hancock, the 2013 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, and four teammates from that title team, said a lawsuit had been filed and described the NCAA as “a morally bankrupt organization” that exploits student-athletes during a Wednesday news conference.

The suit filed Wednesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court does not specify monetary damages. It states the NCAA cast the plaintiffs in a false light and seeks declaration that it wrongfully vacated the plaintiffs’ wins, honors and awards.

Morgan added, “If all we get is this championship back for Louisville, and the players, and the city, and Luke’s MVP back, that’s going to be plenty pay for us.”

The attorney also mentioned former Louisville players Gorgui Dieng, Tim Henderson, Stephan Van Treese and Mike Marra as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The NCAA stripped Louisville of the title as part of sanctions for violations discovered during an escort scandal investigation .

Hancock stressed that his title ring “is not coming off” and said the embarrassing scandal continues to dog him despite not being involved.

“It’s been five years and I can’t tell you two days where I’ve gone without having someone come to me and ask me if I had strippers or prostitutes in the dorm,” he said.

“I’m excited that Morgan & Morgan has partnered with us and is going to represent us because enough is enough.”

The governing body in February denied the school’s appeal and vacated 123 victories, including their third NCAA title, following an escort’s book allegations in October 2015 that former basketball staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers for sex parties. Louisville removed the championship banner from its home arena soon afterward.

“We are used to fighting giants,” Morgan said. “In the sports world, I don’t think there is any Goliath that exists like the NCAA. The NCAA is a giant, but the NCAA is a morally bankrupt organization that has taken advantage of economically disadvantaged young people throughout our country.

“They answer to nobody but are bad for everybody.”

The liability attorney did not mention former Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who has denied knowledge of the activities alleged by Katina Powell in her book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.”

Hancock said he frequently talks with Pitino but did not specifically ask if he wanted to be involved.

Several investigations soon followed after Powell’s allegations, including ones by the school and the NCAA. Louisville’s own investigation found that violations did occur and imposed penalties including sitting out the 2016 postseason in an effort to mitigate NCAA penalties.

The organization in June 2017 ordered Louisville to vacate victories that included the championship and Final Four appearance for activities it described as “repugnant” in its decision. Pitino was suspended for five games for failing to monitor McGee and vowed to fight the penalties. The school and the coach vowed then to fight the penalties.

As the appeals process unfolded, the Hall of Fame coach was suspended and eventually fired after 16 seasons last fall following Louisville’s acknowledgment of its involvement in a federal corruption of college basketball.

Pitino is not named in the federal complaint and has denied knowledge of any payments made to the family of former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen. The coach is suing the school along with sportswear maker Adidas, which dropped him after his firing.