West Virginia is no longer the only Big East team engulfed in a two-sided lawsuit over a departure.
Of course, Pitt’s legal battle with former coach Mike Haywood is a little bit less dramatic. The coach of all of two and a half weeks filed suit against the Panthers in September for nearly $4 million he claimed he was owed because he was, by his account, fired without cause in January of last year because of his alleged involvement in a domestic abuse case.
According to Pitt’s student newspaper, the Pitt News, the school filed a counterclaim against Haywood in October of 2011, alleging Haywood violated the confidentiality terms of his contract by disclosing details of said contract to media. Pitt has denied comment on the matter because they cannot comment on pending litigation.
“They think it’s going to intimidate the coach,” Haywood’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, told the Pitt News. “Our position on the countersuit is that it’s meritless. That’s all we really need to say about it.”
What the Haywood-Pitt battle ultimately comes down to, though, is whether the school fired Haywood with, or without, cause. Provided the case isn’t settled out of court and actually reaches trial, that could be the biggest determinant of whether Haywood sees another dime from Pitt.