Fox News Houston
March 28, 2008
HOUSTON -- Former Texas Southern University assistant men's basketball coach Kevin Granger believes he has a valid contract to become the next head coach at TSU. However, he was terminated by Interim Athletics Director Johnnie Cole on March 17 and told the school would move in a different direction.
On Friday, Houston attorney Martin Shellist sent a letter to TSU President Dr. John Rudley, on behalf of Granger, requesting the school "make right that which was made wrong against Mr. Granger."
FOX 26 Sports has obtained a copy of that letter and a copy of the contractual agreement Granger believes backs up his claim.
In the letter Shellist writes: "In December 2007, Mr. Granger was asked by then TSU Athletic Director Alois Blackwell whether he wanted the position of TSU head men's basketball coach beginning March 30, 2008. After negotiating the salary, Mr. Granger accepted the offer, which was consistent with what he had been previously told."
The contract agreement between Granger and the school, obtained by FOX 26, is written on school stationary and is labeled "Tentative negotiations and items entered into a contract with Kevin Granger as the Head Men's Basketball Coach for Texas Southern University."
The agreement is for five years with a base salary of $100,000. Among the incentives in the contract Granger was to have been paid an additional $10,000 if TSU made the NCAA Tournament and another $5000 for every win in the NCAA Tournament.
The contract was signed by Granger, Blackwell, and then TSU Chief Financial Officer Billy Owens. TSU's Interim President at the time, J. Timothy Boddie, Jr., did not sign the agreement.
Of Granger, Shellist writes to TSU: "TSU's conduct will significantly affect him financially. Additionally, the emotional toll this has taken on him is great."
Shellist also claims in the letter the school is about to hire former Missouri Associate Head Basketball coach Tony Harvey as TSU's new men's basketball coach.
The letter does not ask for Granger to be a paid a specific amount of money, nor does it specifically ask the school to name Granger the head coach. Shellist does ask the school to get in contact with him "within the next five business days to discuss these important matters."
Cole confirmed for FOX 26 Sports that Dr. Rudley had received the letter and said it will not affect how the school does business.
"The University stands behind its decision," said Cole. "Mr. Granger was offered an opportunity to pursue the job like anyone else and turned it down."
Cole did not comment on the school's search for a new basketball coach.
When contacted by FOX 26 Shellist declined to comment on the specifics of his letter. However, he offered a response to the school's stance.
"Mr. Cole's comments are not accurate and, if necessary, will be proven as such in a court of law," Shellist said.
Granger had been hired by the school, where he starred as a player, on a six-month contract that was set to expire March 30, 2008. He went to work for Robert Moreland who was working as the school's interim head coach.