Rick Pitino's contract has a couple vaguely worded clauses that could figure into whatever fate awaits him at Louisville. One refers to "acts of moral depravity," the other to "willful misconduct" that "tends to greatly offend the public."
The contract's wording comes to us via the Louisville Cournal-Journal, which has posted the entire document online. It stipulates that Louisville can fire or discipline Pitino for just cause, which includes the following:
Disparaging media publicity of a material nature that damages the good name and reputation of Employer or University, if such publicity is caused by Employee's willful misconduct that could objectively be anticipated to bring Employee into public disrepute or scandal, or which tends to greatly offend the public, or any class thereof on the basis of invidious distinction.
Employee's dishonesty with Employer or University; or acts of moral depravity; or conviction of a felony or employment or drug related misdemeanor; or intoxication or being under the influence of a psychoactive substance when performing duties under this contract, when student athletes are present, when attending scheduled public appearances, or during media contacts.
Obviously, the university is annexing for itself a lot of room to define categories like "moral depravity" and behavior that "tends to greatly offend the public." How Louisville would even begin to define the latter is beyond me, especially when the public, in this case, includes both the seemingly unmoved Pat Forde and the sort of indignant Kentucky fans who take to the message boards to write things like: "You know who the real victum [sic] is here?, the little unborn child who had no say on whether to be born or murdered ..."
Earlier today, University of Louisville president James Ramsey swung clear of that particular briar patch. Asked if Pitino had violated the terms of his contract, he said, "I am not going to speculate."
Pitino contract contains morality clause [Louisville Courier-Journal]
Rick Pitino's employment contract [Louisville Courier-Journal]