The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 24, 2019 1:00 am

College basketball

Pitino agrees to Adidas settlement

Associated Press

Former Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino has reached a settlement with Adidas, the Hall of Fame coach and the global sportswear company said in a joint statement Monday.

Pitino had contended in a lawsuit that Adidas “outrageously conspired” to funnel money to the family of a Louisville recruit – current Mad Ants player Brian Bowen II – without his knowledge and made it appear he was aware of its practices.

Settlement terms were not released but the statement said all issues were resolved.

“Over 16 years working with Adidas, Coach Pitino demonstrated his passion for basketball and his commitment to excellence both on and off the court,” the statement read. “We wish Coach Pitino the best in his new role as head coach of Panathinaikos, the Greek national team and any future endeavors.”

Pitino said he had “nothing to add” when reached by text message by the (Louisville) Courier-Journal. Adidas replied with an automated response saying its press office was closed for the holidays.

Pitino sued Adidas in October 2017 in U.S. District Court for breach of contract, alleging that the Oregon company deliberately ruined his reputation. Adidas had terminated its personal services contract with Pitino hours after Louisville's Athletic Association fired him for cause following the school's acknowledgment of its involvement in a federal bribery investigation of college basketball. Pitino was not named in the federal complaint.

A federal judge dismissed Pitino's lawsuit against Adidas last year, agreeing with the sportswear maker that his claim required arbitration and should be heard out of court.

Gonzaga ascends to No. 1 in AP poll

Gonzaga is the latest No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 men's college basketball poll.

The Bulldogs moved up a spot to take over for Kansas, which lasted only a week at No. 1 before losing at now-No. 10 Villanova. At the time, that had marked the first time the AP poll has had five different No. 1s before New Year's Day.

And now it's six, with the Zags (13-1) earning 54 of 65 first-place votes to outdistance Ohio State.

Conferences give weekly awards

Ball State's Tahjai Teague was named the MAC West Division Player of the Week for the second time this season. Teague averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists. ... Indiana Tech senior DeAnn Kauffman was named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week. Kauffman average 16.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 block. ... Rain Hinton, a former Woodlan player now with Albion College, was named Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week.

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