Kent State University must pay a former football coach $112,000 for breaking his contract.
The Ohio Court of Claims ruled last week that former defensive coordinator James M. Fleming was owed about $98,300 when he was fired in February 2011, plus another $13,200 in interest.
The case revolves around Fleming being reassigned to the athletic department when head football coach Darrell Hazell was hired. Instead of accepting the assignment, he forced the university to fire him, arguing that his contract had been breached.
The contract called for him to be paid $71,500 a year for 28 months, with the potential for bonuses.
Fleming moved on to the University of Central Florida in December 2011 and now is the head coach at the University of Rhode Island.
Kent State couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the ruling.
Fleming had sued Kent State in July 2011 in the Ohio Court of Claims. The court agreed in October 2012 that the university had breached his contract but awarded him only $25.
He then appealed to the 10th District Court of Appeals, which ruled last year that the Court of Claims had to recalculate the damages.
Kent State had argued that any damages awarded to Fleming would be a windfall because he earned more at Central Florida than he would have if he had stayed at Kent State.
Judge Patrick McGrath noted that Kent State took the opposite position in its breach of contract case against former basketball coach Geno Ford, who was ordered to pay back $1.2 million to the university when he left to become the coach at Bradley University.