Looks Like KSU Fired Lallathin Without Enough Cause

Here’s the men’s basketball situation from the AJC (click here). I’m going to break this down with my opinions, just like I did with the women’s article. (AJC in yellow, me in white).

“Although he had two years remaining on his contract, Kennesaw State is paying Jimmy Lallathin $105,000 to step down as men’s basketball coach after a tempestuous final few weeks with the university.

The parties reached the agreement on April 24, the same day Lallathin submitted a letter of resignation and over a month after the athletic department announced that Lallathin would no longer coach the team after 1 1/2 seasons.”

“Lallathin’s payoff raises questions, primarily: Why would the university pay a coach whose contract didn’t include a buyout clause and whose staff was found to have committed at least five NCAA violations with another possible violation under investigation?”

So they paid Lallathin at least $105,000 to not coach the team, even though there was no buyout clause. This basically says there was no sufficient cause to terminate his contract. Many of the violations Roberson mentions above were committed by the assistants, and not directly the fault of Lallathin.

“Athletic director Vaughn Williams declined to comment through a university spokesman. Lallathin, who has since been hired to coach St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, did not return repeated recent texts.”

Why would Lallathin talk? He has a new job and has apparently moved on. Williams doesn’t want to offer an explanation? Any kind of transparency would be cool.

“Williams described a breach of trust with Lallathin and concerns about NCAA violations in a letter to Lallathin dated March 19, also obtained through the request.

In that letter, Williams referenced an earlier conversation in which Williams said he told Lallathin that he could resign rather than be fired.”

The breach of trust is what this whole thing revolves around. Most of the violations listed in the AJC article are completely irrelevant. I really don’t know the details of the breach of trust, but to me, the answer all comes back to the $105,000. . 

“Lallathin’s lawyer, John Stachler, said they weren’t aware that Kennesaw State had released its findings.

“Jimmy served KSU well and has cooperated fully in all respects, as evidenced by the agreement entered into by Jimmy and KSU provided by the university through Georgia public records request,” Stachler wrote in an email on Wednesday. “Jimmy considers this matter closed and wishes the KSU program and its student-athletes success in the future.””

Yep. Pretty much confirms that he’s moved on.

“The university has notified the NCAA of the possible violation and has asked for guidance on how to proceed before an official report is submitted. If submitted, it would be at least the sixth rules violation either by Lallathin or a member of his staff during his tenure. Kennesaw State said the first four were deemed to be NCAA Level III breach of conduct violations, the third-least severe infraction in the NCAA’s four-tiered structure.”

This new possibly violation is news to me.

(previous violations are as follows)

“A donor paying for four players’ meals at a Cracker Barrel. KSU stipulated the players donate the cost of the meal ($18.75) to a charity.”

Petty violation. Was Lallathin there? Doubt it.

“An impermissible workout of a player in July 2014. KSU suspended assistant coach Jon Cremins for two games and Lallathin for a game. Another member of the staff was also suspended for three games.”

Lallathin took the suspension because former assistant Brian Lawhon was no longer on staff at the time, and by rule the head coach had to take the suspension. I don’t believe Lallathin was around when this took place.

“Impermissible tweets by a player in late July and early August regarding unofficial visits by two junior college players. The player was suspended for two practices in October.”

Cool. 

“Two players wearing impermissible Adidas apparel before and during games in late December and early January. A letter of admonishment was placed in Lallathin’s personnel file on Jan. 7.”

Lallathin should take heat for this. Fine. Worth being let go over?

“A fifth violation involving an impermissible loan to an athlete for rent and for retrieving his car from impoundment has been submitted to the NCAA.”

The impermissible loan situation isn’t cut and dry at all. I really don’t know enough about that one to comment. I can say that I’ve heard the violation with the impoundment was about David Rivers paying a player currently on the team.

“Also within the correspondences between Stachler and KSU was an allegation by Lallathin that former coach Lewis Preston paid his players for good grades. Lallathin was an assistant on Preston’s staff. Preston took a leave of absence from the program in January 2014 for what was described as medical and personal reasons.”

“A university spokesman said they could find no evidence to confirm the Preston allegation during the investigation.”

I’ve said a lot of things about Preston’s ability to coach, but I have a hard time believing these allegations. 

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