SEATTLE, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Rick Neuheisel is taking his former employer to court claiming he was wrongfully fired as the school's football coach.
Neuheisel also claims in a 12-page complaint that he was defamed and set up by the NCAA. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports he is seeking unspecified damages.
"On information and belief, there are certain high-ranking members of the NCAA who were seeking to harm Mr. Neuheisel despite the fact that he was never involved in a major violation and had among the highest graduation rates of football players of any Division I coach in the country," the civil lawsuit contends.
The suit names NCAA president Myles Brand, William S. Saum, the NCAA's director of agents, gambling and amateur activities, and several school officials.
Neuheisel was finally terminated by Athletic Director Barbara Hedges on July 28. The school fired Neuheisel on July 12 for breaking NCAA rules prohibiting gambling. He filed an appeal, which was rejected by Hedges, and the appeal process came to an end.
He was told he was being terminated for participating in NCAA basketball pools in 2002 and '03. NCAA bylaw 10.3 prohibits athletic department employees and student-athletes from gambling.