The lawsuit claims the university breached Pitino's contract by not properly notifying him he was placed on leave and firing him without proper cause.
The ULAA voted unanimously to fire Pitino on October 16 after he was linked to a federal investigation linking nefarious recruiting to him. It says the ULAA did not give him 10 days advance notice before it "effectively fired" him and insists that he followed suggestions to improve oversight following a sex scandal that has resulted in NCAA sanctions. Pitino reportedly claims he played no role in the illicit payments that brought top recruit Brian Bowen to Louisville.
The lawsuit, against the University of Louisville Athletic Association, seeks liquidated damages of $4.307 million per year through 2026, the length of Pitino's contract that was terminated in October.
"(Pitino) had no part whatsoever in any scheme to pay the family of a UL recruit, or to otherwise improperly provide benefits to any recruit, as an inducement to join the basketball program", said Steve Pence, Pitino's lawyer, in a statement.
UofL spokesman John Karman told IL in an email that they are aware of the lawsuit, but "as a matter of policy, the university does not comment on pending litigation".
Pitino was signed at Louisville through the 2025-2026 season but because he was sacked "for cause", Louisville attempted to make a clean break with the Hall of Fame coach.