Lawsuit dismissal expected in Harrick case
Jim Harrick
Jim Harrick
Reporter
Posted Apr 5, 2005


ATHENS – Almost all of a lawsuit filed by former coaches Jim Harrick and Jim Harrick Jr. against the University of Georgia, the NCAA and several individuals at UGA is set to be dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Story, according to court documents obtained Tuesday by The Macon Telegraph.

All of Jim Harrick Sr.’s claims have been dismissed, meaning the coach whose tenure ended in four years of probation for the school has no more legal challenge against University of Georgia Athletic Association, the UGA Foundation or the NCAA. That ruling was made by Story in an order released Feb. 25.

The Harricks’ attorneys filed a motion Monday asking that the matters go back before the court, and lead attorney Robert Tanenbaum insists he and his clients are going forward despite what is a major blow to their case.

“We’re going to ask for the earliest possible (court) date we can,” he said. “It’s in our interest to try this case to vindicate the Harricks’ reputation and re-institute their good name.”

Unless his motion from this week is granted, meaning the court would have to reverse the positions it took in February, the only claims that will go forward are Harrick Jr.’s claim of defamation and invasion of privacy by the UGA Athletic Association, and both Harricks’ claim against the NCAA for malicious interference with a contract.

“The thrust of the case is still there,” Tanenbaum said.

Asked if thought the matter was coming to a close, Harrick Sr. said, “Absolutely not.”

“All we want is the truth to come out,” he said. “The NCAA knows the truth. Georgia knows the truth. But they’re in this thing together. They kind of wink at each other and go on.”

The Harricks’ original suit, filed last February, accused the UGA Board of Regents, the University System of Georgia, the Athletic Association, the UGA Foundation, the NCAA, UGA president Michael Adams, former athletic director Vince Dooley, compliance director Amy Chisholm, NCAA president Myles Brand, UGA vice president Tom Landrum, UGA lawyer Steve Shewmaker and Athletic Association lawyer Ed Tolley with at least being complicit in defaming them and violating their due process, among other things.

Tolley was contacted about the most recent ruling but declined comment.

Athens attorney Hue Henry, one of the Harricks’ original lawyers, is no longer working for the Harricks. He would not comment on the case or the reason he’s no longer on it.

Harrick Jr. was fired by UGA in March of 2003 and his father was forced out later that month after an investigation conducted by the school and the NCAA uncovered what those bodies referred to as “academic fraud” and unethical conduct by both coaches. The NCAA subsequently put the school on probation for four seasons and took away a scholarship from the men’s basketball program for each of the next three seasons.

Harrick Sr. continues to insist that the only thing he or his son did wrong was in an incident in which Harrick Jr. wired former player Tony Cole $300. Harrick Sr. said the money didn’t come from his son and called it a “minor mistake.” He then compared his situation to Georgia’s gymnastics program, which was hit with a secondary violation after Coach Suzanne Yoculan took six former athletes for expenses-paid trip to New York.

“If (what Harrick Jr. did) is a major mistake, tell me what the gymnastics violation is when they sweep that under the rug and don’t do anything about it,” Harrick Sr. said. “Those girls stayed at The Plaza hotel. (The Athletic Association) does whatever they want to do.”

Harrick Sr. was in St. Louis this weekend for the Final Four. That’s traditionally where unemployed coaches go to find a new job, but Harrick wouldn’t say if he wants to return to the college game. He still works as a scout for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, he said. Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Monroe, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Fresno State, Jacksonville and Virginia have openings at the moment.

“Maybe if the right opportunity came along,” he said, “but I doubt if that will happen, so the answer to that is probably no.”

NOTE: Georgia’s football team received its third verbal commitment for the Class of 2006, according to Scout.com. John Miller, a 6-foot-6, 286-pound offensive lineman out of Cartersville, Ga., committed to the Bulldogs, according to the site.

Dismissed

All of Jim Harrick Sr.’s claims against the Athletic Association
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claim against Foundation for violating due process by not giving a name-clearing hearing
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s defamation claims against the Foundation
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claim of malicious interference with contract by Foundation
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claims against Athletic Association and defendants for violating due process
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claims against Athletic Association and defendants for malicious interference with contract
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claim against Athletic Association and defendants for breach of contract
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claims for violation of Georgia Open Records Act by Athletic Association and defendants
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claims against the NCAA defendants for deprivation of due process
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claim of defamation against NCAA and defendants for defamation
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claim of invasion of privacy against NCAA and defendants

Not dismissed

Harrick Jr.’s claims of defamation and invasion of privacy
Harrick and Harrick Jr.’s claims against the NCAA and defendants for malicious interference with contract


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