The lawsuit filed by former Louisville football player Patrick Grant against the school and ex-head coach Charlie Strong is set to go to trial Tuesday. Grant alleges that Strong broke a promise and took his scholarship away after he stopped playing football following an alleged beating by two teammates.
Grant is seeking compensatory damages and an injunction restoring his scholarship, alleging that Strong broke a promise and took his scholarship away after he stopped playing football following an alleged beating by two teammates.
The beating was allegedly carried out by twin brothers Isaac and Jacob Geffrad in October 2010 during Grant's fourth year at the school (and Strong's first), causing damage to his right eye that forced him to miss the rest of the season. The Geffrads were kicked off the football team but were not charged with a crime.
According to the Courier-Journal, though cleared medically to return in 2011, Grant left the team over what he says were vision problems related to the beating. Strong maintained in a deposition Grant simply quit the team and never mentioned lingering eye issues.
Grant claims that Strong promised to continue his scholarship for the entirety of the following academic year as the former player pursued a graduate degree after graduating in the winter of 2011. Strong, though, removed Grant's scholarship in January 2012.
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In an interview, Grant's lawyer, Scott Zoppoth, said Strong and the university breached their promise -- and basic decency -- in reneging on the offer. "This is a case of a promise made and a promise broken," Zoppoth said.
But the attorney for Strong, Craig Dilger, says in court pleadings that there was no such pledge and that Grant's case is "meritless." Records gathered in the suit show that Grant, who has returned to his home in South Florida, has no witnesses or documentation to support his claim.
Grant had also previously claimed that a trainer told him to lie about the cause of his eye injury to avoid damaging the program. Strong called that allegation "implausible" in his deposition, according to the Courier-Journal, saying he immediately reported the alleged fight to the police.
Strong is expected to testify in the trial.
Strong, 54, coached Louisville from 2010-13, compiling a 37-15 record. He left to become the head coach at Texas before this season.
- Ben Estes