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Report: Pitt filed countersuit against former coach Mike Haywood

Michael Haywood AP

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.

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9 Responses to “Report: Pitt filed countersuit against former coach Mike Haywood”
  1. lemmam says: Feb 1, 2012 12:10 AM

    haywood’s a punk. he doesn’t deserve a dime

  2. jason1214 says: Feb 1, 2012 12:14 AM


    Haywood being called a punk, is an insult to punks. He is more like that sun warmed gum on the sidewalk that gets stuck to your shoe.

  3. jimbo75025 says: Feb 1, 2012 2:22 AM

    Whether he is guilty of the assault or not, he was accused of pretty major crime 2 weeks following his hire. Not many (if any) coaches in the country which would not be fired outright or at a minimum suspended pending investigation-much less one who has never coached a game.

    If he is indeed innocent of the crime then he needs to sue the woman that made the accusations (sorry as I do not remember the specifics of the whole sordid mess-was it his wife? gf?), but I suppose her pockets are not deep enough to bother. Those with the deepest pockets-in this case a state university are always going to be the ones getting the lawsuits.

  4. nightrain42 says: Feb 1, 2012 7:00 AM

    If he is innocent, then he was fired for no reason. His suit wld hve merit. If this happened to Urban Meyer or the old ball coach…higher profile guys….they wldnt hve been fired.

  5. thegamecocker says: Feb 1, 2012 9:11 AM


    You sat “If he is innocent, then he was fired for no reason.” Well, OJ was found “not-guilty” too. Did they ever find the killers of his Wife and the waiter? If this guy raised his hand to his Wife, then he should have been fired.

  6. killerstiller says: Feb 1, 2012 9:16 AM

    I’ve stepped in better shit! I don’t believe in hitting women! I understand it! But, be a man, Mike! Your career was ruined before they fired you.

  7. stevenchayden says: Feb 1, 2012 9:49 AM

    The maijn thing that stands out here is that Haywood has Tony Buzbee representing him. Pitt has a big problem. A very big problem. Buzbee is not a good lawyer, he is a great lawyer. The fact that Buzbee took the case says volumes.

    You think the honey badger is bad? Buzbee eats honey badgers for breakfast.

    Pitt would be smart to pay up and go on their way. If they don’t Buzbee will cut them to shreds. That is what he does.

  8. blastfurnaceknows says: Feb 1, 2012 11:07 AM

    Wow, stevenchayden, you make Buzbee out to be the legal equivalent of Jack Bauer of 24. Considering I have worked in the legal community for over a decade and never heard of him before, I have to wonder aloud what your relationship is to him to offer such an intimidating portrait.

    Let me suggest two things in response – first, Pitt has good attorneys and, in fact, the chancellor, himself, is an attorney and he made the decision to go ahead and fire Haywood after reviewing the contract (which undoubtedly included a morals clause); second, Buzbee has a moron for a client if he thinks that any Div I program can tolerate its head coach doing ANYTHING physically against woman, particularly as was the case here, when that physical act leads to her being injured. Dumb becomes even dumber when you consider this confrontation happened within a few weeks of him being hired.

    I would suggest that even the best attorneys can not do much with a moron like Haywood as their client. Jack Bauer, on the other hand, might know exactly what to do with a guy like Haywood.

  9. stevenchayden says: Feb 1, 2012 5:35 PM

    bfn, Buzbee is well known in Texas. Especially to companies like BP. My realtionship with him is that I know him and admire the man. As far as your Jack Bauer comment I’m not sure about that. I do know that he was a Marine and in special forces. I once worked on the construction of a veterans memorial that Tony donated some money to. In the course of that I learned about his military record. He did some scary stuff.

    I happen to ran across this page and made the comments I did because I’m a fan. I can count the number of people I really admire on one hand. My father is one and so is Tony.

    I don’t know anything about this Pitt case. I’m lost when it comes to sports or anything connected to sports. But I know Tony and my comments are about him.

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