In the viral video age of YouTube, nothing we do or say is protected from public view. Such was the case of a leading university’s basketball coach caught in the act of verbally and physically humiliating his players during a practice. The nationwide outcry that followed witnessed the dismissal of the coach and his athletic director, as well as a colleague’s subsequent wrongful termination suit.
The new layer surfaced with claims made by the notorious coach’s ex-director of player development. The former National Basketball Association player not only shot the film, but also alleges he was let go because he had challenged the coach’s frequently aggressive and discriminatory behavior towards the young men on his team. The university, refusing to renew his contract, asserts the colleague was not asked back due to insubordination and poor job evaluations.
A shocked public watched as the repeatedly-aired viral video of a coach berating his players appeared on ESPN and popular television shows. The coach was let go the day the video appeared, and his athletic director resigned shortly thereafter. Both men are active in community and sporting activities, thus sparking controversy and split opinions. Now their colleague wants his day in court and is asking for support.
Legal representation for the former NBA player claimed they have been unable to depose the two discredited university officials and had to resort to filing a court motion. Both the coach and athletic director received instructions to be deposed separately, but their attorneys have requested extensions. Lawyers for the defense claim they had no objections to the depositions. So, the discussion goes round and round.
The defense is optimistic for a speedy decision, but in the meantime, the video-making colleague claims he is undergoing a waiting game for such depositions to take place. He also state that he is not above pressuring the parties involved to testify in his unlawful termination suit.
In the good old days, before viral or unauthenticated videos were able to provide evidence, or lack of, in wrongful termination cases, the jury and judge were left to deal with less impressive proof. Now, any employee placed in a position of leadership is forced to think twice about questionable behavior that can be construed as inappropriate or discriminatory. You never know who’s holding the camera that can shoot the footage seen ’round the world.
Source: app.com, “Murdock files motion seeking to compel former Rutgers University officials to testify in wrongful termination lawsuit” Jerry Carino, Jan. 23, 2014