Education Sports

Former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the university’s athletic association.

Pitino was fired for cause last month by the association’s board amid an FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting.

The suit, filed Thursday in federal court, says the school effectively fired Pitino in late September when it placed him on administrative leave and locked him out of his office. It says Pitino should have been given 10 days’ notice and an opportunity to be heard, as specified in his contract.

The suit also says the athletic association board had no legal justification for firing Pitino for cause under his contract because he had no knowledge of an alleged scheme with the Adidas apparel company to bribe the family of a U of L recruit.

It seeks the balance of his salary under the contract — more than $4.3 million per year through June 302026.

U of L officials declined to comment, citing policy on pending litigation.

Pitino has also filed suit against Adidas, accusing the company of damaging his reputation. Adidas is asking that the suit be dismissed.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."