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Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

University of South Florida Football Coach Sues for Breach

USF  It seems there have been a lot of cases recently involving college sports coaches who claim that they were terminated without cause and are entitled to damages.  In January, we reported on a suit involving Texas Tech football coach, Mike Leach.  About that, there have been some very interesting developments, reported on ESPN.  Last week, the University of South Florida Oracle reported that former USF football coach Jim Leavitt is bringing suit alleging wrongful termination.

The University fired Leavitt in January for cause on the ground that he had grabbed a player by the throat and slapped him.  Leavitt's suit alleges that the University acted based on hearsay and that its investigation of the incident was not thorough.  His suit alleges that he has therefore been terminated without cause and is entitled to $7 million in additional payments.  The Oracle story is a bit unclear, but it looks like Leavitt is also arguing In the alternative that, even if his termination for cause was appropriate, he was still entitled to 1/12 of his remaining salary rather than the 1/12 of his annual salary that the University already paid.  The difference is over $300,000.

The lawsuit also demands access to public records, disclosure of which Leavitt maintains is required under Florida law.

[Jeremy Telman]

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