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Price sues Alabama president for fraud, misrepresentation


Administrator Emeritus
Price sues Alabama president for fraud, misrepresentation
March 23, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports *
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Former Alabama coach Mike Price is suing the university's president over actions that led to Price's dismissal following a visit to a strip club. Advertisement

The suit, filed Monday in state circuit court in Tuscaloosa, accuses president Robert Witt of fraud and misrepresentation and asks for a jury to decide on a monetary award, said Price's attorney, Stephen Heninger.

Price has also sued Sports Illustrated and writer Don Yaeger, claiming he was libeled and slandered by a story detailing Price's actions the night he visited a strip club in Pensacola, Fla., in April 2003.

"We filed this new suit against President Witt in his individual capacity, not involving him as president but as a man who interfered with Price's contract and held him in false light," Heninger said.

A judge last year dismissed an earlier lawsuit filed in federal court by Price that alleged Alabama and Witt illegally fired Price. An appeal of that dismissal is before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Witt's attorney, Stan Starnes of Birmingham, released a statement saying the new suit "has no merit."

Heninger said the latest suit stems from a deposition by Witt as part of the lawsuit against Sports Illustrated, as well as recent comments indicating that Witt demanded the Athletics Committee of the Board of Trustees either recommend Price be fired or begin searching for a new president.

"The threat that he would resign if he would not be allowed to fire Price is involved," Heninger said.

Price, who was fired as Alabama's coach a few days before the article was published, is now coach at Texas-El Paso.

Price's suit against Sports Illustrated is still in the evidence-gathering phase, Heninger said, and no trial date is set. Moore's deposition in the suit is set for April 13.

The Associated Press News Service