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Rick Pitino Sues Adidas You Embarrassed & Humiliated Me

10/17/2017 2:54 PM PDT
Breaking News

Rick Pitino is suing Adidas in federal court ... claiming that his good name has been dragged through the mud as a result of the company's dirty tactics.

As we previously reported, a top Adidas exec has been charged with conspiring to funnel money to top basketball recruits ... including $100k to a UL prospect.

Pitino's attorney filed the suit in a Kentucky federal court earlier today ... asking for compensatory and punitive damages -- but also saying this is about more than money. He wants to clear his name.

"It is Coach Pitino's vehicle for proving that he had nothing to do with Adidas' outrageous, wrongful, and illegal conspiracy." 

In the suit, Pitino claims the scandal has "resulted in grave damage to Coach Pitino's public and private standing and reputation, causing him extreme embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress."

Rick Pitino Officially Fired By Louisville

10/16/2017 12:04 PM PDT
Breaking News

Rick Pitino has officially been FIRED by UL ... less than 3 weeks after he was put on unpaid administrative leave over his suspected involvement in the NCAA bribery scandal.

The University of Louisville Athletic Association today voted to fire Pitino -- a Hall of Famer who coached the school's basketball teams since 2001 -- for "just cause."

As we previously reported, UL prez Greg Postel fired off a letter to Pitino last month ... saying the school believed evidence from the FBI investigation incriminated the coach.

For his part, Pitino and his lawyers have vehemently denied any wrongdoing ... and vowed "a bare-knuckle fight" ... if they were to fire him.

Well, that's exactly what the university just did ... so, prepare for a legal war.

Ex-Boston College RB: X-Rated Recruiting Parties Ain't New ... I've Got Video Proof

10/16/2017 12:25 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

A former Boston College football player says strippers and underage boozing is nothing new when it comes to recruiting players ... and claims he's got the video to prove it. 

We spoke with ex-BC running back Jamall Anderson -- who says he committed credit card fraud to fund illegal recruiting parties to entice top players to join the BC family. 

Which brings us to the video ... which Anderson claims was shot on campus in 1995 and shows various football players grinding with strippers, taking shots and one guy even passes out in a bathroom.

"What you see on the video is just us outta control. We just did it all," Anderson says. 

We reached out to Boston College and a rep told us, "This 22 year old video, which is alleged to have taken place at Boston College, depicts unauthorized and unacceptable behavior that does not reflect the culture of BC or the standards to which our student-athletes are held."

Anderson says he goes into greater detail about the debauchery on campus in his book, "The Best Bet" -- and says he's coming forward about everything so future athletes can learn from his mistakes. 

UCLA Legend Tracy Murray LaMelo Don't Need High School ... to Ball Out at UCLA

10/7/2017 12:25 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

High school or no high school, LaMelo Ball is gonna kill it for UCLA -- so says Bruin legend Tracy Murray ... who tells TMZ Sports it's still all about Ball in Westwood.

We talked to Murray, a 2-time All-Pac-10 player for UCLA and current announcer for the team -- and he told us LaVar's decision to take LaMelo out of HS won't change a damn thing when it comes to college.

"He's already committed to UCLA. With that already happening why play HS basketball when you already know where you're going?"

Some people have expressed concern that LaMelo might miss critical development as a player if he missed the last 2 years of school, but Murray says there's something else that's more important.

"The only thing that really matters at this point is that he's taking college prep courses that prepare him for UCLA."

As for LaVar -- he's convinced 'Melo's school won't be an issue ... but then again, he thinks he can beat Michael Jordan.

CBB Star Grayson Allen Dunks All Over Duke Teammate El Capitán Is Back, Baby!!

10/4/2017 7:56 AM PDT
Breaking News

College basketball superstar Grayson Allen just got his captain's chair back from Duke ... and celebrated by droppin' a 1-handed HAMMER on a teammate in practice.

May have been a little too much sauce from Grayson ... who got all up in Jack White's grill for the posterization. His other teammates seemed to dig it, though.

Hard to blame Allen for being a little extra springy ... he finally regained his team captain title after being in Coach K's doghouse all junior year, and is primed to have a HUGE senior season.

Still ... might wanna save that action for UNC.

LaVar Ball Yanks LaMelo Outta High School ... to Personally Coach Him

10/2/2017 4:12 PM PDT
Breaking News

LaVar Ball is taking his son LaMelo's hoops career into his own hands -- pulling the top prospect out of Chino Hills High School so he can personally train 'Melo over the next 2 years.

"I'm going to make him the best basketball player ever," LaVar told the L.A. Times' Eric Sondheimer.

LaVar says LaMelo will officially be checked outta Chino on Tuesday ... and won't play any games in public until AAU ball rolls around in the spring. 

The Big Baller dad says the shift will benefit 'Melo since there will be "less distractions." 

High school officials told us LaMelo's BBB shoe deal would NOT disqualify him from playing HS basketball ... so this is probably just LaVar trying to get his kid to the next level.

He's previously hailed 'Melo as the best baller of his three sons, including Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

Louisville to Rick Pitino FBI Evidence Points to You

10/2/2017 7:16 AM PDT
Breaking News

The interim president of the University of Louisville told Rick Pitino the school believes FBI documents incriminate him and his coaching staff in an NCAA bribery/recruiting scandal. 

Despite the fact that neither Pitino nor any member of his staff was mentioned by name in the FBI charging documents, Gregory Postel sent Pitino a letter on Sept. 27 saying the investigation clearly points to him. 

"The information provided by the Office of the U.S. Attorney ... is disturbing and unprecedented in its allegations of willful misconduct, violations of NCAA Bylaws, and dishonesty, and serve to severely damage the reputation of the University of Louisville."

"The allegations contained in the complaint ... insinuate a scheme of fraud and malfeasance in the recruitment of student-athletes involving you and multiple members of your coaching staff in violation of federal law and NCAA Division I Bylaws."

FYI, the FBI alleges a high-profile Adidas exec teamed up with a D1 basketball coach to funnel huge payments to high school players in an effort to get them into Adidas sponsored D1 basketball programs. The University clearly believes the coach referenced in the documents is Pitino. 

Postel told Pitino he would be placed on unpaid administrative leave -- but would be given the opportunity to defend himself before a final decision is made on termination.

Postel told Pitino he would know his fate no later than April 30, 2018. 

As for Pitino, he has lawyered up -- insists he's innocent -- and insinuated he's ready to sue the school for wrongful termination if need be. 

Pitino has a lot on the line -- the remainder of his contract is reportedly worth around $40 mil. 

Rick Pitino: I've Done Nothing Wrong No Evidence Against Me!

9/27/2017 4:28 PM PDT
Breaking News

Rick Pitino says there's not a SHRED of evidence proving he did anything wrong to justify his firing -- and has lawyered up in what seems to be a prelude to a legal war with Louisville. 

As we previously reported, the University of Louisville says it put Pitino on "unpaid administrative leave" in the wake of an FBI probe of an Adidas exec, who was allegedly bribing recruits to attend Adidas sponsored schools, including UL. 

While Pitino hasn't been formally accused of a crime -- and no other Louisville staffer has been accused either -- the school took action anyway ... and Rick is pissed. 

"Coach Pitino has done nothing wrong and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise," his attorneys said in a statement ... adding, "The rush to judgment is regrettable."

Pitino's legal team says the school "did not give him prior notice of the disciplinary action or an opportunity to be heard, as required by University policy."

In a preview of what's to come, Pitino's lawyer said, "The matter will now follow its legal course."

Pitino insists there is no evidence that would implicate him in any type of misconduct or other activity that would violate the terms of his contract.

Pitino says the "complete and accurate facts" will inevitably exonerate him.

Bottom line -- prepare for legal war. 

NCAA Univ. Admits Student Pushback Over Kneel Ban ... 'It's a Good Thing'

9/27/2017 3:22 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Colorado Christian University says there is some student resistance to the school's ban on national anthem protests ... but CCU believes the disagreement is a positive thing. 

As we previously reported, CCU (which has several varsity sports teams competing at the NCAA D2 level) reaffirmed its school policy against athletes protesting during the national anthem

TMZ Sports spoke with CCU's Vice Pres. of Public Policy Jeff Hunt who says for the most part the student body has been supportive -- but "we have students that disagree with it."

However, Hunt says the school welcomes healthy debate. 

"I'm glad we do have students that disagree. We like disagreement on campus, we don't mind that. We just think [the protests] need to be done in the right and proper order."

"Free speech is important, but we don't think that every single circumstance is the right place to express protest. There are still sacred places here."

Louisville Basketball Top Recruit Decommits Over NCAA Scandal

9/27/2017 11:12 AM PDT

It's gone from bad to worse for Louisville ... the school's top high school recruit says he's officially DECOMMITTING to UL in the wake of the NCAA bribery scandal involving the university. 

Anfernee Simons -- a 6'3" point guard from Florida -- was hailed as UL's top recruit, a 5-star player who's ranked in the Top 20 on every major recruiting list. He just started his senior year in high school. 

But with Louisville referenced in the FBI probe into corruption in college basketball -- and a possible link to 6-figure bribery involving one of the top marketing people at Adidas -- Simons says he's out. 

"Due to the recent events that have taken place, it's in my best interest to de-commit from the University of Louisville," Simons says.

"This was a very tough decision to make and I am deeply saddened by this. I appreciate all of the support from the Louisville fans."

Simons says he will be "reopening my recruitment" -- which is huge for schools that had gone after him in previous years ... including Florida, OK State, Tennessee and more. 

Rick Pitino Out At Louisville ... Amid NCAA Scandal

9/27/2017 8:51 AM PDT
Breaking News

10:06 AM PT -- University of Louisville interim president Greg Postel says Rick Pitino has technically been placed on unpaid administrative leave, effective immediately.Rick Pitino has just been fired by Louisville, according to multiple reports ... marking the first big-name head coach to get the ax after the FBI corruption sting that rocked NCAA basketball on Tuesday. 

Federal prosecutors say an Adidas executive worked with basketball coaches from Louisville in an illegal scheme to pay high school recruits to ultimately attend the University. 

Neither the University nor any Louisville coaches have been formally accused of wrongdoing ... at least not yet. However, the Adidas exec has been arrested. 

Pitino has maintained his innocence since the allegations came to light ... with his lawyer, Steve Pence, promising "a bare-knuckle fight" should the university choose to fire him.

"These allegations come as a complete shock to me," Pitino said in a statement.

"If true, I agree with the U.S. Attorney's Office that these third-party schemes, initiated by a few bad actors, operated to commit a fraud on the impacted universities and their basketball programs, including the University of Louisville."

"Our fans and supporters deserve better, and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable."

Athletic Director Tom Jurich was also relieved of his duties.

Stephen Jackson Let The NCAA Pay Its Players ... Or Let 'Em Skip College!

9/27/2017 9:41 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Hey, NCAA -- here's a simple solution to all your corruption problems ... PAY YOUR DAMN PLAYERS -- so says former NBA star Stephen Jackson.

Stack wasn't too in the know on college basketball's recruiting scandal when we got him at LAX ... but he told TMZ Sports he was 100% behind the idea of NCAA hoops stars makin' bank. 

"If you can go to war at 18 and kill yourself, why you can't get paid for basketball?"

S-Jax thanks the lord he didn't have to be a broke college athlete ... even though it took him years to make the NBA outta high school. 

Dick Vitale NCAA Hoops Is Dirty ... Corrupt Coaches 'Must Be Fired'

9/27/2017 7:30 AM PDT
Breaking News

College hoops icon Dick Vitale is taking the NCAA to task ... blasting the league for having a dirty underbelly and calling for the jobs of any coaches found guilty of corruption.

"There’s a cesspool that’s existing in college basketball and on the scholastic level," Vitale said -- taking aim at NCAA eligibility requirements and AAU basketball.

Dicky V says he's "crushed" over the FBI corruption sting that came to light this week ... where 4 CBB coaches were arrested and charged with federal crimes. 

The legendary analyst tells us to reserve judgement until the coaches have their day in court ... but stresses that these allegations cannot be taken lightly now that the feds are involved. 

And if they are guilty ... Dicky V knows what has to happen -- "THEY MUST BE FIRED." 

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