Legal Headaches Could Just Be Starting at Northwestern, WVU with Fitzgerald, Huggins, Experts Say
Sports Law Practice Co-Chair Tyrone Thomas was quoted in an Associated Press article analyzing the legal issues surrounding the departures of college sports coaches Pat Fitzgerald and Bob Huggins. Fitzgerald, the former head football coach at Northwestern University, was fired following hazing allegations, after initially being suspended two weeks. Huggins, the former head basketball coach at West Virginia University, resigned following a DUI arrest but later said he made no such decision. The developments raise questions about contracts and how to approach coaching hiring and firing decisions. Mr. Thomas commented on the strength of the message conveyed by a firing.
"Terminating a coach 'for cause' may chill your ability to recruit the next coach," he said. "For any institution, anytime you're doing a 'cause' termination, you're making something that's a pretty strong statement."