The shoe and apparel company did it by winning the battle last year to sponsor an AAU team run by the player's father. That landed Tim Langford's team in Adidas' summer league, which created the unofficially official expectation that Romeo Langford would land at a college whose coach endorses Adidas.
Pitino, still coaching at the time and actively pursuing New Albany, Ind., star Langford, said he got the background info from two Adidas representatives.
"What they said to me (was) they're doing everything possible to keep Romeo Langford's team on the (Adidas) AAU circuit," Pitino told the paper.
Pitino shared text messages with the Post that supported his story.
The 6-foot-6 guard picked Indiana, an Adidas school, over Kansas (also Adidas) and Vanderbilt (Nike).
"That's the way that world works," Pitino said. "Which is completely legal, by the way."
A 2,600-word Washington Post story is chock full of deeper details of how the system works in general and in this particular case.
A key nugget: Shoe company sponsorships of summer-league teams can reach $150,000, and team directors who limit expenses can pay themselves salaries from those amounts.
Eight-man update: Holley and C.G. Finney will be the first two Section 5 teams to participate in the revived eight-man football program, which is entering its third season in New York.
Section 5 football coordinator Scott Barker said Sections 4 and 5 have worked out a scheduling arrangement similar to what Sections 3 and 10 have in place. Section 9 has enough teams (eight) to support its own league.
Holley played six-man football from 1948-55 before dropping the sport until it was reinstated as 11 man football in 2002.