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Detroit AD, assistant coach had an affair?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 1, 2013 @ 12:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Carlos Monarrez, USA TODAY Sports
A former Detroit Mercy basketball assistant coach gives details about an alleged culture of harassment within the athletic department, players listening in on the athletic director and another assistant coach having an extramarital affair at team hotels, and inaction by the university to stop it all in a lawsuit he filed against the school.
Carlos Briggs, in a suit filed Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court, contends he was defamed and fired after he filed a whistleblower report in August with the school about athletic director Keri Gaither and basketball assistant Derek Thomas.
On Oct. 31, UDM said Gaither and Thomas had resigned, effective immediately, to pursue other interests. Briggs said he was fired the next day.
Briggs is suing UDM, Gaither and Mort Meisner, a media consultant for the school. He seeks damages greater than $25,000, the minimum for a suit in the court. Attorney Michael Stefani represents him and said Thursday that his client also wanted to change how UDM dealt with whistleblowers.
“He wants to see the university change its policy in regard to how it handles matters submitted over (its) whistleblower website,” said Stefani, who represented Detroit police officers against Kwame Kilpatrick, then Detroit’s mayor, in a whistleblower suit that resulted in an $8.4-million out-of-court settlement. “He wants to see the policy change with respect to how information is ignored by the university — I’m not saying all the time.
But the university is built on a principle of integrity and honesty and for years graduates of the university have prided themselves on those principles. And in this particular case, they didn’t. They wanted to close something up, and even at the cost of depriving what I believe to be a really fine gentleman his job.”
Stefani said that Briggs earned, with benefits, more than $100,000 annually, but that he probably would never coach in college again.
“Even when he wins this suit,” Stefani said, “it will still be a cloud hanging over him as a result of the university’s actions.”
Schools officials have declined repeatedly to comment on the departures, saying UDM could not discuss personnel matters. Gaither and Thomas have not returned … [For more on Detroit AD, assistant coach had an affair, suit alleges, click here.]
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