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.