- Joe Robbins/Getty
Rick Pitino will reportedly lose out on up to $55 million after being dismissed from his role as the University of Louisville head men’s basketball coach, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Pitino, the highest-paid coach in college basketball, was set to make just under $7.8 million for the 2017-18 season, according to USA Today. The two-time NCAA Tournament champion had $38 million in salary remaining on his deal running through 2026, while the other $17 million was set to come from bonuses and other earnings.
If Louisville had simply wanted to buy out Pitino’s contract instead of firing him, it would have reportedly cost the school $44 million.
On Tuesday, Louisville was one of several schools named in an FBI investigation of fraud and corruption in college basketball recruiting. The investigation accused an Adidas executive and several other defendants of giving $100,000 to a potential recruit’s family to entice him to commit to an unnamed public research university in Kentucky. Pitino has reportedly informed his staff that he expects to be fired, and athletic director Tom Jurich was also reportedly let go.
Pitino offered a statement on Tuesday, saying that “these third-party schemes, initiated by a few bad actors, operated to commit a fraud on the impacted universities and basketball programs, including the University of Louisville.” Now, it seems he’s paying the price for his part in the scheme.
With Pitino’s firing, University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari is now the highest-paid coach in college basketball. He’s set to make $7.4 million this season.