Rick Pitino fired by UofL

ULAA Fires Rick Pitino For “Just Cause”

Piling on to his bad afternoon, Adidas, the company that allegedly worked with Pitino and Louisville to pay and bring in top recruits, dropped their contract with the former Cardinals coach once the ULAA's decision was made official.

Pitino, in an affidavit presented Monday to the athletics board, said he "had no part - active, passive or through willful ignorance" in the activities alleged in an FBI investigation.

Maria Culp with adidas issued a statement on the matter.

The University of Louisville Athletic Association voted to terminate Pitino's contract "with just cause" despite an argument from Pitino's lawyers.

The association, which oversees Louisville's sports programs and is composed of trustees, faculty, students and administrators, voted unanimously to oust the longtime Cardinals coach following a board meeting Monday. And we simply felt that this was in the best interest of the university and make the decision at this point in time.

"I do not dispute ULAA's right to terminate my employment at its discretion", Pitino said in his affidavit, via ESPN. "'But I vehemently reject its right to do so 'for cause.' I have given no 'cause" for termination of my contract.

Less than three weeks after he was placed on administrative leave, Rick Pitino has officially been fired as basketball coach at Louisville.

In the Federal Bureau of Investigation complaint, Adidas executive Jim Gatto and other defendants are accused of funneling $100,000 to the family of a high-school basketball player who committed to Louisville. Pitino had been suspended without pay since September 27 after an FBI investigation revealed athletic apparel giant Adidas allegedly arranged to funnel $100,000 to basketball recruit Brian Bowen so that he would sign with the Cardinals. The crux of the argument is that as Pitino denies any wrongdoing in association with the FBI's investigation, Louisville can not fire him and refuse pay him the $44 million he's set to earn over the remainder of his contract. Had Pitino been fired without cause, he would have been owed between $44 million and $55 million according to Bleacher Report.

The move Monday officially ends Pitino's 16-year tenure with the program, a run that included winning the 2013 NCAA championship but was tarnished by several embarrassing off-court incidents. He was the highest paid coach in college basketball this year at $7.8 million, which includes a retention bonus and his personal Adidas contract, according to USA Today.

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