No one thought it would end like this, the long-time relationship between Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville. The sides agreeing to settle a two-year-old lawsuit brought against the school by the former head basketball coach.
Ironically there was a University of Kentucky connection involved in the case, with UofL’s legal team led by Barbara Edelman. She’s a graduate of the UK College of Law and a partner at the Lexington office of the Dinsmore & Shohl law firm.
The terms were agreed to after an intense nine hours of negotiations in a Louisville court room last week.
Over the course of her career, Edelman has appeared in all of the federal district courts in, numerous circuit courts throughout the state and other jurisdictions. She has tried more than 50 jury trials in state and federal courts and handled more than 30 appeals to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Kentucky Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Steve Pence, Pitino’s attorney, also happens to be a graduate of the UK College of Law. He was served as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
A collective sigh of relief coming from many Louisville fans, thankful that Pitino has ended his pursuit of approximately $40 million in contractual obligations. The former coach was never going to get the full amount but millions seemed almost certain.
Pitino decided, however, not to pursue any further action against the school. The best decision he could have made, both for his own reputation and for the sake of the university. Neither party would have benefitted from the inevitable rehashing of UofL controversies in the local and national media.
One would like to believe that Pitino gave up the lawsuit because of all the good times he enjoyed at UofL, all the people who supported him through the good and the bad. He had considerable accomplishments at the school, compiling a 559-416 won-lost record, coaching Louisville to three Final Fours and a national championship.
But there were all those down times as well, including the sex and extortion scandal involving Karen Sypher, the stripper parties with Katina Powell and her flock, and the accusations from the FBI about alleged Adidas involvement in the recruiting process. Pitino may enjoy being the center of attention but no way did he want to rehash all those times day after day in a local courtroom.
Barbara Edelman’s legal team also included Gramn Morgan, a UofL undergrad who earned his law degree in California, and Donna Perry, who heads the Louisville office of Dinsmore & Shohl and earned her degree from the UofL Brandeis School of Law.
That legal team may have saved the UofL tens of millions of dollars while sparing UofL fans another barrage of ugly reminders of Pitino’s darkest days in Louisville.