Rick Pitino may not be coaching anymore, but the former Louisville head man has certainly been vocal since his exit from the school several months ago.
The Washington Post published a story regarding Romeo Langford’s recruitment on Wednesday. Langford recently committed to Indiana, a fellow Adidas school, and Pitino is quoted in the piece. A snippet:
In January 2017, Pitino said, two Adidas officials met with him to discuss their efforts to keep Nike and Under Armour from landing Langford, whom Pitino was recruiting. Pitino’s account was supported by text messages he shared with The Washington Post for a previous story.
“The way they phrased it, it was whoever [shoe company] was going to pay the dad’s AAU program the most money, gets it,” said Pitino in a recent phone interview. A few days later, Adidas’s league added a new team: Twenty Two Vision, featuring Romeo Langford on the court and Tim Langford as team director. Shoe company sponsorships can reach $100,000 to $150,000, and team directors who limit expenses can pay themselves salaries from those amounts.
Pitino went on to say “that’s the way that world works,” adding that the dynamic is completely legal. Even so, Pitino’s comments don’t characterize Adidas in a positive light, especially given all of its previous FBI troubles.