Elsewhere, a lawsuit filed by former Boston College coach Jim O'Brien against that school for slander and breach of contract was settled, but not before O'Brien did damage to his reputation as a fair-play guy. O'Brien, now at Ohio State, had claimed that the B.C. admissions office, under director John Mahoney, operated "with an apparent bias against African-Americans," a thinly supported charge that B.C. president William Leahy denounced as "reckless and irresponsible."
O'Brien left B.C. two years ago, angry over admissions policies that he says unfairly thwarted his recruiting. He also battled with Leahy, who was quoted in The Boston Globe as saying that O'Brien "couldn't be trusted." Regardless of whether either contention is valid, his claim of racism was out-of-bounds, as even he acknowledged in a post-settlement statement. "I know that Boston College and John Mahoney are not racist, nor does the complaint allege that," O'Brien said. He raised the race issue, he says, to bolster his contention that he suffered "public contempt and ridicule" and damage to "his business of coaching basketball." Really? O'Brien is now making an estimated $650,000, about twice his salary at B.C.
Another lawsuit, this one by Clemson coach Larry Shyatt, was filed last week against the University of Wyoming, where Shyatt had fulfilled one year of a five-year coaching contract before bolting last month. Shyatt is disputing a clause in his deal with Wyoming that required him to buy out the remainder of his contract should he terminate it early, a proviso that Wyoming president Philip DuBois characterizes as "a prudent reaction to the unfortunate trend of coaches achieving success at the University of Wyoming and then breaking their contracts to take the next best offer."
In his lawsuit Shyatt says that Cowboys athletic director Lee Moon assured him that if Clemson tapped him, the buyout clause would not be enforced. Now Wyoming wants its money—which amounts to $382,849. Gee, isn't it terrible that Harrington won't be partaking of the wonderful purity of college sports?
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