Williams’ attorney asks Court to deny U’s appeal

The attorney for Jimmy Williams said the $1 million reward has no grounds for Minnesota Supreme Court review.

Andrew Krammer

The attorneys representing Jimmy Williams issued a response Thursday asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to deny the University of MinnesotaâÄôs appeal to the $1 million award for the would-be assistant menâÄôs basketball coach.

âÄúThat the University would risk turning this case into something it is not simply to invoke one more judicial forum in which to litigate Mr. Williams may speak to the UniversityâÄôs motivations,âÄù attorney Donald Chance Mark Jr. said in the statement. âÄúBut it is not grounds for [Minnesota] Supreme Court review.âÄù 

Early last month, the University announced it would appeal the decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals to award Jimmy Williams $1 million for a recanted job offer from coach Tubby Smith.

Williams was an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University in the spring of 2007 when Smith, who was hired to coach Minnesota in March 2007, contacted Williams to offer him a job.

However, University athletics director Joel Maturi trumped SmithâÄôs decision, citing WilliamsâÄô previous NCAA violations when he was an assistant at Minnesota from 1971 to 1986.

Williams had already formally quit his job at Oklahoma State when he got word of MaturiâÄôs decision and sued Smith and the University.

âÄúThe University needs to be able to hire the right people for the right jobs,âÄù University general counsel Mark Rotenberg said when announcing the UniversityâÄôs appeal. âÄúThis individual, who had a history of multiple serious NCAA violations in the basketball program, was not considered the right guy for the job.âÄù