Former St. John’s coach Mike Anderson told ESPN he plans to sue the school over his termination.
Anderson said the school fired him for cause and is denying him the remaining money left on his contract. He will seek payment through an arbitration lawsuit, per ESPN, which said he would have been owed $11 million if not fired for cause.
The network reviewed Anderson’s termination letter, which said he was dismissed for “failure to create and support an environment that strongly encourages student-athletes who are in the men’s basketball program to meet all university academic requirements,” “failure to perform your duties and responsibilities in a manner that reflected positively on St. John’s University … in actions [that] brought serious discredit” to the school, and “failure to appropriately supervise and communicate with your assistant coaches.”
Anderson was let go on March 10 after the Red Storm posted an 18-15 (7-13 Big East) record. Reports over the weekend said Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino, currently at Iona, has been offered the job.
In a statement to ESPN, Anderson said he should not have been fired for cause.
“I vehemently disagree with the university’s decision to terminate my contract for cause,” he said. “The for cause accusation is wholly without merit and I will be aggressively defending my contractual rights through an arbitration process.”
Anderson, 63, was 68-56 (30-46 Big East) in four seasons with the Red Storm and did not reach the NCAA Tournament.
In 21 seasons as a head coach at UAB, Missouri, Arkansas and St. John’s, he has a 437-256 career record.
–Field Level Media