Pitino was fired in 2017 after the NCAA and FBI launched an investigation into his program, with one recruit allegedly having been paid $100,000 to attend Louisville and a staffer allegedly having provided players and recruits escorts at private parties on campus.
Pitino sued the school for the money remaining on his contract, arguing Louisville did not have “just cause” to remove him. Louisville countersued, demanding Pitino repay financial losses from the NCAA investigation. Pitino has maintained he had no knowledge of the malpractice within his program.
“There were NCAA infractions during his term which led to serious consequences for the University. Although these infractions may not have occurred at Coach Pitino’s direction or with his knowledge, the problems leading to the NCAA infractions happened under his leadership,” the university said in the statement, in part. “We thank Coach Pitino for his years of service to the University of Louisville basketball program and wish him well.”
“It’s an exciting day for the university,” Louisville Athletics Director Vince Tyra said to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “It’s a terrific day for us to get this behind us and I’m sure that the other side feels the same.”
Pitino in a statement said he agreed to the settlement against the advice of his attorney, Steve Pence, and that he was ready to “move on to a new chapter in my life.”
“I am very proud of the many accomplishments my teams achieved at Louisville,” he said. “I’m so thankful and honored to coach such dedicated athletes. I’m also disappointed in how it ended. But as head coach I am held responsible for the actions of all team members. I still have so much passion for the game and so many goals I want to achieve. From this day forward I start my climb.”
Reached by The Washington Post, Pitino said, “My statement is the last words I will talk about it.”
In 2018, he coached Greek EuroLeague team Panathinaikos to a European championship. He has said he has a desire to coach again, and before leaving for Greece, visited college and professional teams around the United States to lecture on his famous full-court press.
“Rick accomplished a lot here as head coach and our record books do show that,” Tyra said. “And although there will be asterisks there at times, he’s done quite a bit. So I don’t know if I would say we’ve washed our hands of Rick Pitino.”