Minn. loses appeal of suit against coach

Oct. 18, 2011 at 1:39 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The University of Minnesota must pay $1 million in damages to a former assistant basketball coach for taking back a job offer, an appeals court says.

In its ruling Monday, the state Court of Appeals upheld the award to Jimmy Williams, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The court refused an appeal by Williams to restore an additional $250,000 in damages cut from the original jury award.

Williams quit his job as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State in 2007 after he was offered a similar job at his former employer. Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi withdrew the offer, made by the head basketball coach, Tubby Smith, because Williams had been involved in NCAA rule violations during a previous stint at Minnesota.

Judge Renee Worke said Smith engaged in "extensive misrepresentations" in his negotiations with Williams.

"Even after Smith realized that he did not have the final authority over the hire and conveyed as much to Williams, Smith furthered the misrepresentation by continuing to discuss the upcoming recruiting trip that Williams was assigned to make," Worke wrote in the court's opinion.

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