The University of Louisville has countersued former coach Rick Pitino, calling him an "active wrongdoer" in the scandal that enveloped the university's men's basketball program and led to his dismissal and forced the university to vacate victories and its 2013 national championship.
According to WDRB.com, the suit, filed as a counterclaim to Pitino’s more than $35 million lawsuit against the school’s athletic department, claims Pitino was in charge of the program when it committed multiple NCAA violations.
Claiming that Pitino's "wrongful conduct" tarnished the university's image, the university is seeking monetary damages as well as “any bonuses and other compensation wrongly paid” to Pitino for vacated NCAA Tournament appearances, according to the suit filed Wednesday in federal court in Kentucky.
“Mr. Pitino, and not the University, was the active wrongdoer,” the lawsuit alleges after noting that the NCAA has ordered Louisville to return money it received for the 2012-15 men’s basketball tournaments.
Pitino’s breach-of-contract lawsuit, filed Nov. 30, claims he is owed $4.3 million per year over the next nine years. His suit says Louisville didn't comply with the contract's terms of employment when it placed him on leave and later fired him after he was implicated in a federal complaint unsealed in September alleging widespread fraud in college basketball recruiting.
His attorneys argue that nothing in the federal criminal complaint ties Pitino directly to any improper activities.
In the counterclaim filed Wednesday, Louisville argues the federal investigation “which was announced on the heels” of the Katina Powell-escorts scandal in the Cardinals program “evidences an ongoing failure to adequately monitor and supervise his assistant coaches,” as required under Pitino’s contract.