Football Coach Claims Wrongful Termination

May 8, 2004

A former football coach, who was fired after he allegedly “misused university funds,” has sued the school for wrongful termination and seeks unspecified damages.
Donald Smith, the head football coach at Kentucky State University, also alleged in the complaint, which named Interim President William H. Turner and AD Curtis Campbell as defendants, that he had a verbal contract for three more seasons.
Smith is represented by Thomas Miller, who told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he has been “stonewalled” in his attempts to learn more about the allegations. One piece of discovery that has been uncovered is a February 17 letter that Campbell wrote to Smith, informing him that he had been suspended without pay. According to the letter, Smith was being “placed on leave without pay pending investigation of allegations of misuse of university funds. Such allegations include, but are not limited to, discrepancies in cash advancement documentation for recruit host money and student athlete meal money, and other allegations of misuse of university funds involving the university’s athletic program.”
Smith, who had received favorable evaluations up until six days before the letter, was “subject to termination by the president at any time with or without cause,” according to University attorney William Johnson.
Smith also claimed in the complaint that he and Ramsey had agreed to a three-year contract extension worth “$80,000 per year, plus benefits, including but not limited to health insurance, a $500 per year car allowance and compensation for teaching a class at KSU.”


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