The lawsuit, against the University of Louisville Athletic Association, seeks liquidated damages of $4.307 million per year through 2026, the length of Pitino's contract that was terminated in October.
Pitino was sacked in October in the wake of an FBI investigation of bribery and fraud in college basketball related to the steering of recruits to Adidas, sports agents and financial advisers. Pitino is not named in the federal complaint and has denied participation in and knowledge of alleged payments to a recruit's family. The university recently announced that Bowen won't be allowed to play for the Cardinals and is free to transfer. But that detail in the lawsuit is where Pitino may have a ledge to stand on. The next day, Louisville interim President Greg Postel placed Pitino on unpaid leave and athletic director Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave.
Pence went on to state that Pitino "did everything reasonably possible to maximize his diligent supervision of assistant coaches and staff", though adding that diligent supervision "is not a guarantee of compliance". The veteran coach had more than $40 million remaining on his contract, running through the 2025-26 season, but removing him for cause took away any potential buyout.
Pitino has also filed suit against Adidas, accusing the company of damaging his reputation.