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Fired Louisville coach Rick Pitino sues UL Athletic Association for $38.7 million

Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino has filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Athletics Association for breach of contract.

According to the Courier-Journal, Pitino is seeking $38.7 million in the suit that was filed on Thursday — an astronomical figure that represents the full unpaid balance of his contract to coach Louisville.

The ULAA voted unanimously to fire Pitino on Oct. 16 after he was linked to a federal investigation linking nefarious recruiting to him. He was allegedly involved in a pay-for-play scheme in which he helped funnel money to the family of a five-star recruit, Brian Bowen, who committed and signed with the school but has since been ruled ineligible.

Pitino was signed at Louisville through the 2025-2026 season but because he was fired “for cause,” Louisville attempted to make a clean break with the Hall of Fame coach. But that detail in the lawsuit is where Pitino may have a ledge to stand on.

In September, Pitino was “effectively fired” without proper notice, according to the lawsuit. The coach was placed on unpaid leave, locked out of his office and had access to his university email blocked.

The lawsuit also alleges the university had no justification to fire Pitino “for cause” in October and failed to fix the breach within 30 days despite being notified of the breach by the coach. [Courier-Journal]

Pitino has denied any involvement or knowledge of the federal report linking him to the scandal.

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