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Pitino points finger at Adidas in IN star's recruitment

17 May 2018

Langford recently committed to IN, a fellow Adidas school, and Pitino is quoted IN the piece. Langford's father, Tim, made it known he wanted to run his son's team, which ended up happening under the Adidas-sponsored umbrella.

"The way they phrased it, it was whoever [shoe company] was going to pay [Langford's dad's] AAU program the most money, gets it", Pitino said in an interview with Will Hobson of the Washington Post.

According to a story released by The Washington Post on Wednesday, Langford picked IN because the school is sponsored by Adidas, which beat out Nike and Under Armour IN getting Langord to play for its sponsored AAU team. Pitino's account was supported by text messages he shared with The Washington Post for a previous story. Pitino said he pressed adidas officials to go hard after Langford, so Pitino could have a chance to offer the shooting guard a scholarship. "Which is completely legal, by the way".

The ongoing FBI investigation into amateur basketball - the same one that led to the downfall of Louisville coach Rick Pitino - may have an intriguing new development connected with one of the feel-good stories of the Class of 2018. The Justice Department indicted 10 people nationwide, including four coaching assistants. Pitino says he was unaware of any payments to recruits.

The Adidas sponsorship of the Langford AAU team, mirrors a similar situation regarding Duke commitment Marvin Bagley III and Nike that was reported on by The Oregonian earlier this year. But he did deny that he took money and it factored into his son's recruitment. Adidas, Nike and Under Armour each operate basketball leagues, which they use to develop relationships with high school prospects they hope to sign to endorsement deals if they reach the NBA, and steer top talent to their sponsored college teams.