Last October, once-celebrated basketball coach Rick Pitino was ousted from his role at Louisville and subsequently had his Adidas agreement terminated following allegations of bribery. In response to Adidas' move, Pitino filed suit against the brand, alleging it had damaged his reputation. Almost a full year later, a federal judge has thrown out the case.
Judge David A. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky dismissed the case today, ruling instead that the brand and former coach engage in arbitration as outlined in their Endorsement Agreement. Further complicating matters is the fine print of Pitino's agreement with Adidas, which stipulates that the arbitration must take place on its home turf in Oregon. This caused Hale to dismiss the case without prejudice, leaving the door open for Pitino to refile in a different jurisdiction.
"If the parties fail to resolve their dispute through mediation, then the parties agree that the dispute shall be submitted to final and binding confidential arbitration before the American Arbitration Association in Portland, Oregon," reads a clause in the agreement.
Pitino's original suit made claims that the brand's employees had "knowingly or recklessly caused him emotional distress" with their alleged conspiracy to bribe Cardinals recruits.
Sole Collector has reached out to Adidas for comment.