Former St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson is expected to file an arbitration lawsuit against the university following his firing «for cause,» ESPN reports.
Anderson believes the school unfairly terminated him and his contract states that he would be owed $11 million if he is not terminated for cause.
However, St. John’s said in Anderson’s termination letter, via ESPN, that the head coach «failed to create and support an environment that would strongly encourage student-athletes who are in the men’s basketball program to meet all university academic requirements. He was also «failing to fulfill his duties and responsibilities in a way that reflected positively on St. John’s University…in actions [that] brought serious disrepute» to the university.
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Anderson denies all of those accusations from the university. He told ESPN: «I vehemently disagree with the university’s decision to terminate my contract for cause.»
«The charge for cause has no merit and I will aggressively defend my contractual rights through an arbitration process,» he added.
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St. John’s has since hired Rick Pitino as Anderson’s successor, as Basketball Hall of Famer Naismith left Iona just days after losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to join Red. storm.
«One of my fondest memories as a coach was having the distinctive privilege of coaching against Lou Carnesecca and St. John’s, a Hall of Fame coach and storied program that I have always respected,» Pitino said in an official St. John’s statement. about hiring. . «It’s surreal now to have this opportunity to return St. John’s to prominence. I’m honored, honored and grateful to Father Shanley, Bill Janetschek and Mike Cragg for making me feel so special.»
Anderson was fired after going 68-56 in his 124 games with the university. He also went 30-46 in the Big East, never getting his squad to the NCAA Tournament.
St. John’s hasn’t made it to the NCAA Tournament since the 2018-2019 season, when they lost in the First Four.
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Anderson’s arbitration suit isn’t the first in college basketball, as former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie filed one after being fired for cause before Dan Hurley’s signing with the Huskies. The school was ordered to pay Ollie $11 million.
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In Anderson’s case, he has retained John Singer of Singer Deutsch as his attorney, according to ESPN. The Deutsch singer is also working with University of Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule, who is in an arbitration case with the Carolina Panthers after he was fired last season.