Adidas’ Deal With the University of Louisville Was Supposed to Benefit the Athletic Department, so How Did Coach Rick Pitino Get 98 Percent of the Money?

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

On Aug. 25, when University of Louisville’s then-athletic director Tom Jurich was asked about where money from a new $160 million, 10-year deal signed between the school and athletic apparel company Adidas would go, Jurich assured all within earshot that the money would be used for the athletic department.


“It’s for the athletic department,” Jurich said, the Courier-Journal reports. “It’s for these student-athletes. It’s been earmarked for them.”

What he failed to say was that 98 percent of all the money received from the contract would be going straight to disgraced and now suspended-but-not-fired head coach Rick Pitino.

Here’s how the Courier-Journal breaks down the payments:

In 2015-16, for example, $1.5 million went to Pitino under his personal services agreement with the apparel company while just $25,000 went to the program, according to a contract obtained by the Courier-Journal under the state public records act.

The year before, Pitino also got $1.5 million, while the department banked just $10,000.

According to the newspaper, the still-existing contract states that any money that the sports company pays the University of Louisville must be used to cover the coach’s personal-services agreement, and the athletic program can have what’s left.

Here is the kicker: Kenny Klein, the department’s spokesman, believes it was absolutely fine for Jurich—who, along with Pitino, was suspended after the FBI’s investigation into a bribery scandal—to claim that the money was being used for the student-athletes.


“Players come here in part because of Coach Pitino. Coaching is part of what we give to student-athletes,” Klein said last month before being suspended, according to the Courier-Journal.

I think claiming that money is going to the athletic department when more than the lion’s share is going to one person is rather misleading, but what do I know, since I also believe that offering a sham education isn’t payment for the amount of money these student-athletes bring in? I also find the term “student-athlete” to be complete bullshit, as would anyone who has gone to a major school where sports is king. These kids are athletes who sometimes attend class when they are doing stuff to get better at their sport.


Read more at the Courier-Journal.



The NCAA is a cruel joke. Make the NBA and the NFL pay for their own minor leagues.