Skip to content

Legal questions remain in aftermath of College of Charleston’s firing of Doug Wojcik

Aug 13, 2014, 9:37 PM EDT

AP AP

Eight days ago the College of Charleston fired then-head coach Doug Wojcik, with the decision coming on the heels of an investigation into allegations of player abuse. Wojcik was originally suspended for the entire month of August, with the decision to relieve him of his duties permanently resulting in Antonio Reynolds-Dean being named interim head coach.

But the process of finding a new head coach (the school has put together a search committee) isn’t the only issue the administrators could have to deal with. According to Andrew Miller of The Post and Courier, there’s a chance that Wojcik and attorney Scott Thompsett could file a wrongful termination lawsuit to dispute school president Glenn McConnell’s assertion that Wojcik was fired for “just cause” following a second investigation.

And that could prove costly for both sides, and not just from a financial standpoint either.

The fact that Wojcik had accepted the punishment handed down by [former school president George] Benson but later was fired by McConnell with no substantial new evidence could be the strongest argument for the coach, [lawyer and ESPN analyst Jay] Bilas said.

“From Doug Wojcik’s position, I think one could raise some questions about whether or not the second investigation was undertaken simply to take the action to fire him,” Bilas said. “They had suspended him and for whatever reason, later on decided that they needed to, or should have, fired Doug. So now they need to create a situation under which we can fire him for just cause.”

The College of Charleston’s changing of presidents in the midst of this controversy is something that could hurt them should a wrongful termination suit be filed, with the quoted text above being one reason why. And while there has been reported interest in the open position, could a lawsuit hurt the school’s chances of bringing in the best possible candidate for the job?

The answer to that question won’t be known until Wojcik and his attorney make a decision with regards to the possibility of suing the school. And should there be a lawsuit, according to the story it may be a long time before the courts render a verdict given how much needs to be done from a legal standpoint.

“If the suit were to survive all the initial filings and motions and counter motions, then it’ll go to the discovery phase,” Bilas said. “And that’s where things could get very interesting. During that discovery phase an attorney can ask any question they reasonably think will lead to discovery of admissible evidence. It’s a nice way of saying that Scott (Tompsett) or the College of Charleston attorneys can ask anything they want.”

And if this dispute were to reach that point, things could get ugly for all involved parties.