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Former Tech assistant sues Regents over Kennesaw job (AJC)
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MocOwl Offline
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Former Tech assistant sues Regents over Kennesaw job (AJC)
http://www.ajc.com/sports/former-tech-as...30241.html

Former Tech assistant sues Regents over Kennesaw job

By Doug Roberson

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
6:38 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Former Georgia Tech men’s basketball assistant coach Kevin Cantwell sued the state Board of Regents on Monday, saying that he was promised a coaching job at Kennesaw State by school president Dan Papp in February 2011, only for Papp to renege on that promise two months later.

In the civil action, Cantwell alleges several instances in which Papp, whom Cantwell described as a close family friend and confidant, treated him as if he was already the coach. Cantwell went so far as to move back to Atlanta from North Carolina, started recruiting with what he believed to be Papp’s blessing and told Papp that his coaching staff would include former Tech players Kenny Anderson and Jon Babul.

Reached Wednesday, Cantwell declined comment.

"I didn't want to do this to the school," Cantwell told USA Today, which reported on the lawsuit on Tuesday. "... But I had no choice. This put my wife and I in a serious financial bind."

Though Cantwell never signed a contract, his lawsuit, filed in Cobb County Superior Court, claims that Papp made negligent misrepresentations.

In most circumstances when a coach is hired, a memorandum of understanding, including includes basic facts such as salary and length of term, is typically signed within a few days of the agreement.

There was no memorandum between Papp and Cantwell, only an alleged metaphorical handshake between friends.

Neither Cantwell's attorney, Michael A. Dunn, nor the Board of Regents returned phone calls on Wednesday. Papp issued a statement that read in part, “At this point in time, we have not received formal service of a lawsuit, and cannot discuss any further particulars. Our response and position remains the same; this allegation is denied.”

No damages are specified in the lawsuit. Cantwell is requesting compensatory damages to be decided at trial, as well as damages for mental and emotional pain.

The lawsuit alleges circumstances that seem to go beyond a broken promise.

The lawsuit describes the relationship between Cantwell and Papp, who were neighbors in Marietta. Cantwell said the two often watched sports together. During a neighborhood gathering at least two years before the KSU job became open, Cantwell alleges Papp told Cantwell’s daughter and future son-in-law, “That is who I want to be my next basketball coach.”

Cantwell moved away in 2010 to start his own business in North Carolina but he maintained his home in Marietta. But after a meeting with Papp on Feb. 16, 2011, Cantwell and his wife, Cathy, quit their jobs and relocated to Marietta.

Cantwell said Papp allegedly told him, “Kevin, you deserve this,” at the conclusion of the meeting, which included discussion of salary, the names of two assistant coaches Cantwell would hire, fundraising, recruiting and how Cantwell would be introduced at a press conference.

Cantwell said Papp went so far as to tell him that he could begin recruiting as long as he didn’t say what school he was recruiting for because Tony Ingle was still coaching the Owls.. Cantwell said Papp told him that he had already decided to fire Ingle over the team's academic issues.

Cantwell alleges Papp informed himt he could tell his potential assistants -- Anderson, Babul and an unnamed player who is described in the suit as being in Tech’s athletic hall of fame and having played in the NBA -- of his hiring and that they should “hold tight … everything is good."

Babul, who played for Cantwell, said Cantwell called the same night to tell him that Ingle would not be retained and that he would be the next coach. Babul said they also discussed salary, though Cantwell told him nothing would be finalized until the season’s end.

Though Cantwell said in the lawsuit that he started recruiting players in North Carolina, Babul said he did not. He was employed at the time as an academic advisor at Tech. Then in early April, Cantwell called with the news that he wasn’t going to be the coach.

“I thought it was a done deal,” Babul said. “I think it was unfortunate from both sides.”

Anderson had harsher words, telling USA Today that, “There’s a lot of lying going on.”

Though there was no athletic director at KSU at the time, Cantwell understood Papp would hire the basketball coach and then hire an AD.. They continued toexchange emails, Papp informing him on steps he was taking.

They also met face to face several times after Cantwell moved back into his home, the suit alleges. The filing alleges Papp never told him to “slow down or … that any possibility existed that, contrary to his prior representation, Coach Cantwell would not be the next KSU head men’s basketball coach.”

Things began to change on March 29 when Cantwell said he was informed by interim athletic director Scott Whitlock that he was one of six finalists for the job and would participate in interviews. Cantwell said he didn’t know other candidates existed, but that he wasn’t concerned.

On April 9, Papp walked over from his home in their neighborhood to tell Cantwell that the new athletic director would decide the next basketball coach. Vaughn Williams was introduced as AD on April 12. Cantwell said he had a brief meeting with Williams. On April 20, Lewis Preston was introduced as KSU new basketball coach.

Cantwell alleges that if Papp had told him on Feb. 16 that he was just a candidate and not the coach, he and his wife wouldn’t have quit their jobs and moved back to Marietta. Cantwell said he has had to “take drastic measures in order to survive financially,” including severe depletions of retirement accounts.

Cantwell filed a complaint with the Department of Administrative Services on Sept. 16. It was denied on Dec. 30 after an investigation, which prompted the lawsuit.
05-03-2012 03:56 AM
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Owlzfan84 Offline
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RE: Former Tech assistant sues Regents over Kennesaw job (AJC)
I feel bad for Cantwell. But you think he would of at least signed a contract before he made all those moves.
05-03-2012 07:53 AM
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ksuowlsfan Offline
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RE: Former Tech assistant sues Regents over Kennesaw job (AJC)
Hardly the kind of press we want, though.
05-05-2012 12:39 PM
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KennesawBasketball Offline
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RE: Former Tech assistant sues Regents over Kennesaw job (AJC)
Interesting that Cantwell and Papp were such good friends (before this :) ). Cantwell interviewed to be Ingle's assistant coach when the Owls went D1. Then he thinks he has the job...then he gets passed over. Crazy world.
05-25-2012 08:34 AM
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Hooterdome Offline
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RE: Former Tech assistant sues Regents over Kennesaw job (AJC)
@ KB: Probably the reason Ingle didn't hire Cantwell is he didn't want to hire his replacement. I'm not trying to be sarcastic. Cantwell is well respected and has a ton of experience. Otherwise, it shouldn't have been a question of whether he would've been hired as he was over qualified for that position. Just my 2 cents.
05-29-2012 05:38 PM
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