In the two most recent seasons, Pitino reportedly received $3 million from Adidas under a personal services agreement while only $35,000 went to the basketball program. Louisville is college basketball royalty and one of the biggest of the big-time programs, having won the NCAA national championship over Michigan in the 2012-2013 season. It would make sense, then, that Adidas would want to develop a strong relationship with Pitino and his program, where a basketball recruit was alleged to have received $100,000 to play for the school.
Adidas and Louisville recently reached agreement on a new and even more lucrative contract, one which is worth $165 million total, and will pay $78 million in cash and apparel to the university's basketball program. Though not specific as to amounts, a portion of the payout is supposed to go to the basketball team's coaches.
Additionally, athletic director Tom Jurich's daughter was hired by Adidas earlier this year, and the school's governing board expressed its concern over the lack of information about the contract provided to them by the AD. His job appears to be on the line as well.
Upon news of the FBI investigation into Louisville's basketball program, the board quickly voted to initiate proceedings to fire Pitino 'for cause' -- most likely in an attempt to avoid paying the the coach's $44 million buyout. Pitino was placed on unpaid leave last week.
"The New York native and former NBA coach was placed on unpaid administrative leave last week after he was implicated in an alleged scheme to bribe the family of an elite recruit with $100,000 in funding provided by an Adidas executive, Jim Gatto, who was arrested as part of the FBI's investigation. Gatto was charged with wire fraud conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy."
"According to acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan Joon H. Kim, the FBI investigation was launched in 2015 and focuses on 'the criminal influence of money on coaches and student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate basketball governed by the N.C.A.A.'
Specifically, the FBI is investigating two schemes: one in which recruits and their families were paid to go to particular universities and another in which player advisors were paid to persuade those players to sign with certain managers, agents, and financial advisors."
Pitino 'pocketed 98%' of U of L's $39 million Adidas deal | Daily Mail Online