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Rick Pitino insinuates Adidas had a deal with father of Romeo Langford

The former Wildcat and Cardinal coach continues to prove he is nothing more than a liar and a hypocrite.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Michigan v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

After declaring over a month ago that he was doing his final interview ever with Dan Patrick, disgraced college basketball Hall of Famer Rick Pitino just threw Adidas and Romeo Langford under the bus.

A story from The Washington Post details how, during Romeo Langford’s recruitment, Adidas tried to ensure that he would go to an Adidas school. Langford, a five-star shooting guard from New Albany, Indiana, had Vanderbilt, IU, and Kansas as his final three schools in the running for his services. Two of those schools, KU and IU, are Adidas brand teams.

Langford chose IU much to the delight of Hoosier Nation.

But how much was his final choice was influenced by love for his home state compared to his allegiance to a shoe company?

The Washington Post article cites Rick Pitino as a major source saying that Langford’s decision was driven primarily by the fact that Adidas paid for the young man’s AAU team which was run by his father.

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 (Romeo’s father) 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. That’s the way that world works,” Pitino said. “Which is completely legal, by the way.

The article goes on to detail how Pitino was directly involved with Langford’s recruitment and keeping tabs on it for Adidas as is shown here:

Hey Jim one of your guys . . . is helping UCLA in recruiting can u just make sure he doesn’t hurt Louisville — came in to see one of our top prospects to keep him with Adidas circuit but he asked Romeos guy to get him to visit UCLA . . . Prospect is Romeo Langford,” Pitino texted (to Jim Gatto, Adidas’ basketball global marketing director).

Pitino in the past has bemoaned how the shoe companies were ruining college basketball:

What I personally don’t like (is) I can’t recruit a kid because he wears Nike on the AAU circuit,” Pitino said. “I had never heard of such a thing and it’s happening in our world. Or, he’s on the Adidas circuit, so the Nike schools don’t want him.

These comments came before we knew about the current situation with Langford and before we knew exactly how much money Rick Pitino was making off of a shoe company.

And let’s not forget that Pitino is locked in a court battle with Adidas. He is suing the company for damaged reputation and emotional distress.

This article points out two things:

1). Even though the FBI probe that “rocked college basketball” directly targeted Adidas, it’s still business as usual. I don’t think anything will change and the NCAA has done nothing outside of blaming and trying to get rid of One-and-Done.

2). Rick Pitino continues to prove that he is nothing more than a complete liar and hypocrite. I am firmly convinced he not only knew about the Katina Powell and Brian Bowen situations, he was actively involved. You cannot convince me otherwise.