As if Charlie Strong didn’t already have enough on his plate in playing the nation’s No. 3 team in less than a week, a report has surfaced saying the Louisville coach is being sued by a former player.
Louisville’s WDRB News is reporting that former Cardinals player Patrick Grant has filed a lawsuit in Jefferson Circuit Court on Dec. 21 claiming he was asked to cover up an attack by two of his teammates. It also states that UL and Strong “failed to live up to their end of the bargain” by terminating his scholarship.
Of course, this is just one side of the story. Strong and his team are in New Orleans preparing to play Florida in the Sugar Bowl at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
It’s also important to note the story certainly contradicts <a href=”http://www.gatorcountry.com/football/article/strong_finding_success_with_cardinals/16174″ title=”everything Strong’s former and current players have said”>everything Strong’s former and current players have said</a> about the former Florida Gators’ defensive coordinator.
The lawsuit alleges UL players and brothers Jacob and Isaac Geffrad attacked Grant in a locker room at Cardinals Stadium on Oct. 24, 2010. He was beaten so badly that, among other injuries, he received a “blowout fracture” caused by “blunt trauma” to the head, causing him to “nearly” lose his left eye. He required surgery and facial implants to reconstruct his face.
That was just the beginning of Grant’s problem, according to the lawsuit.
“On the way to the hospital, the team’s trainer told Patrick to lie and cover up the fact that his injuries were at the hands of his teammates … Out of fear and desire to play, Patrick lied as instructed, telling the doctor that he was horsing around in the locker room and hit his eye on a locker door,” the lawsuit claims.
Grant returned to the football field but ended up having eye issues after taking a “hard hit.” His doctor said he should end his football career unless he was “insistent” on trying to play in the NFL.
The suit claims Strong “promised” Grant he would be able to keep his athletic scholarship through 2011-12, but it was cancelled on Jan. 4, 2012. Grant allegedly called Strong to “protest” he had broken their agreement by cancelling the scholarship, but Strong “simply ended the call and hung up the phone,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit claims the cancelled scholarship is a violation of NCAA bylines. Grant is suing the school for breach of contract and for failing to act in good faith when it terminated his scholarship. The lawsuit demands the “court issue a declaratory judgment stopping the cancellation of Grant’s athletic scholarship and granting him compensatory damages for his perceived wrongs,” according to the WDRB story.
To note, the Geffrad brothers later were charged with assault and dismissed from the team.
Because it’s now an ongoing lawsuit, Strong likely will decline to address the issue publicly while in New Orleans. If he does, GatorCountry.com certainly will report his response to the claims made in the lawsuit.