Louisville interim president Greg Postel has certainly been put in a position to make some very non-interim decisions. Following the revelation that the FBI was investigating Louisville, amongst other college basketball programs, over corruption and collusion with apparel companies, Postel made the decision to place athletic director Tom Jurich and men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino on unpaid leave. As he continues to delve into the details that could eventually lead to the school firing both of them, Postel isn’t forgetting about the other guilty party in this whole mess.
Per ESPN, the interim president has said he is re-evaluating Louisville’s nine-figure extension with Adidas.
The school literally just announced a 10-year, $160 million extension with Adidas to be Louisville’s official apparel and uniform provider. The $16 million/year contract was the fourth-richest amongst colleges and the biggest for Adidas. Part of the deal required Adidas to pay Rick Pitino a sizable chunk. Last year, the company paid the coach $2.25 million directly. The extension isn’t set to go into effect until 2018.
It was Adidas executive Jim Gatto who supplied a Louisville assistant coach with $100,000 to pay the family of five-star recruit Brian Bowen so that he would commit to the school. It remains unclear exactly how much knowledge Pitino or Jurich had of the deal.
School officials held an emergency meeting for the school’s board of trustees on Monday and afterward Postel told reporters “we have to look at that” when asked about the status of the deal. While he didn’t rule out the possibility that the deal could be voided, he said that any assumptions about what would happen were “premature.”
ESPN did uncover a letter from Sept. 27, 2017, that Postel wrote to Jurich, noting the lack of communication between him and the board before the Adidas extension was negotiated.
“In addition, as we’ve discussed, your recent negotiation of the terms of the updated sponsorship deal with Adidas was conducted without timely or appropriate consultation with me or members of the Board of Directors of the University of Louisville Athletics Association.”
When asked about the letter on Monday, Postel added, “It would have been nice to know more about the [Adidas] agreement.”
It was thought that the school might make a final decision about Jurich’s fate but will instead make that final decision at their Oct. 18 meeting. Postel is expected to announce an interim AD on Tuesday.