On the day of their final preseason college basketball game, versus Division II Augstana, the Associated Press reports that the University of Minnesota is planning to appeal a $1 million civil verdict against the university and men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith over the hiring of an assistant coach.
University counsel Mark Rotenberg says the regents and university president Eric Kaler have decided that allowing the verdict to stand could hurt the university. They will appeal to the state Supreme Court.
In 2007, Jimmy Williams quit his job as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State because he believed Smith had offered him an assistant coaching job. The offer was apparently withdrawn after the university discovered Williams had NCAA violations in his past.
Williams sued. Last year, a Hennepin County jury found Smith misrepresented his authority by offering Williams the job. The state appeals court upheld the verdict.
As MNDaily.com reports, University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg released a statement on Monday saying that if allowed to stand, the $1 million lawsuit against Coach Tubby Smith and the University "has the potential to harm the University now and in the future."