Fort Valley State is coming off its first SIAC Championship in 10 years last fall, but could soon face a different battle with a familiar foe.
Ex-FVSU coach Donald Pittman is suing the school under claims that it wrongfully fired him, and discriminated against him based on age and sex, according to Macon.com. Pittman, who was fired in March of 2016, is seeking damages totaling $750,000.
The suit claims FVSU Chief Compliance Officer Denise Eady wrongfully concluded he paid for a student-athlete’s rent and violated NCAA bylaws. He claimed Eady had no training on the NCAA rules related to the investigation, and his lawyers say the NCAA eventually cleared him of wrongdoing.
Eady, according to the suit, conspired to “build a toxic environment” against for the benefit of her sorror, LuWanna Williams, who was later promoted to associate director of athletics.
Pittman’s suit also alleges:
- He was treated unfairly in comparison to women and younger employees
- Other athletic department employees that committed NCAA violations had them overlooked and remained employed
- He was slandered and libeled by the university
- The football budget was cut by nearly a quarter million dollars from 2013 to 2005, and scholarships ‘
- Scholarships were reduced from 22 to nine and some were revoked by the school, which failed to live up to its financial assurances
In addition to Eady, the suit also named FVSU President Paul Jones and Chief of Staff Kendall Issac as defendants, along with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. FVSU released a short statement regarding the suit on Tuesday.
“Regarding Mr. Pittman, Fort Valley State University is confident that our processes were fair and transparent and conducted in the best interests of our athletic program and our students as a whole. Beyond that, our practice is not to comment on possible pending litigation or personnel matters.”
Pittman led FVSU to a 40-33 record from 2009 through 2015. He was replaced by Kevin Porter.
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Eagles and Bears square up in O'Kelly Riddick Stadium.