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Rick Pitino, University of Louisville athletics board reach settlement

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 9/18/2019 Danielle Lerner, Louisville Courier Journal
Rick Pitino wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd © Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC

The legal saga between Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville Athletic Association is finally over.

Nearly two years after Pitino filed a breach of contract lawsuit seeking close to $40 million, the athletic association announced Wednesday it has reached a settlement with the former Louisville basketball coach. 

As part of the agreement, Pitino’s departure from Louisville will be changed in his personnel file to be considered a resignation. He will not receive any money. 

"It's an exciting day for the university," said Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra. "It's a terrific day for us to get this behind us and I'm sure that the other side feels the same." 

According to the settlement agreement, ULAA and Pitino agreed to mutually drop all claims and said they will not pursue further legal action. 

ULAA's executive committee approved the settlement at a 40-minute meeting Wednesday morning, eight days after both parties met for a nine-hour settlement conference at the federal courthouse in Louisville. 

Pitino has expressed a desire to coach again. It is unclear whether the designation of Pitino's departure as a resignation rather than termination will matter to prospective future employers. 

Tyra declined to speculate on Pitino's future Wednesday. 

"I don't think it has any impact on their timing and what they're doing," Tyra said. "I don't even think today's settlement, they're probably indifferent. I think the facts of what led to the suit and the counterclaim are still intact. I think today's just a settlement of the outcome of their claims." 

In the lawsuit, Pitino argued that he was owed the salary remaining on his contract through June 2026 because the university had no right to fire him for "just cause." He also denied responsibility for the escort scandal that stripped the Louisville men's basketball program of its 2013 national championship. 

ULAA held up the NCAA's finding that Pitino failed to monitor his program as evidence that the coach violated his 2015 employment contract. 

Louisville ultimately fired Pitino in October of 2017 shortly after two of Pitino's assistant coaches were implicated in the nationwide recruiting scandal still being investigated by the NCAA. 

"I think we were solid in our stance from the very beginning, that this was zero liability for us," Tyra said. 

This story will be updated. 

Follow Danielle Lerner on Twitter: @Danielle_Lerner

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Rick Pitino, University of Louisville athletics board reach settlement


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