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NCCU Football Coach Fired Over Marital Issues Mulling Lawsuit

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Copyright 2013 The Durham Herald Co.
All Rights Reserved

The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.)
September 26, 2013 Thursday
LOCAL SPORTS; B; Pg. 4
426 words
Fired NCCU coach considers action against school
JOHN McCANN JMCCANN@HERALDSUN.COM 919-419-6601

DURHAM - N.C. Central may be in for a fight after the school's chancellor rejected the appeal of fired football coach Henry Frazier III, New York-based attorney Linda Kenney Baden said Wednesday.

"Coach Frazier will explore all alternatives and make a decision that is in the best interest of him and his children," said Baden, representing Frazier. "No specific determination as to what avenue the coach will take has been made at this time."

NCCU spokeswoman Ayana Hernandez has said that there would be no comment on behalf of the school about Frazier's situation because the matter is a personnel issue. There was no immediate response from NCCU pertaining to what Baden said about how NCCU chancellor Debra Saunders-White has handled the matter.

In August, a little more than a week before the Eagles' first football game of the season, NCCU athletics director Ingrid Wicker-McCree dismissed Frazier from his head-coaching duties at the school.

Wicker-McCree said Frazier's personal problems regarding his ex-wife had become too much of a distraction for the university.

Last summer, Frazier was suspended with pay after Morrisville police arrested him for allegedly assaulting Lanier Turner-Frazier, his wife at the time. The two have since divorced.

Frazier later pleaded guilty to assaulting Turner-Frazier and was reinstated as coach less than two weeks before practice began for NCCU's 2012 season.

On Aug. 19, Frazier was arrested for allegedly violating a domestic violence protective order when he communicated with Turner-Frazier, prompting the firing.

Frazier appealed the decision on Aug. 29, Baden said.

Hernandez has pointed out a morals clause in Frazier's contract that gave the university grounds to fire him if his conduct hurt the university's image.

But NCCU never allowed Frazier to have his day in court, Baden alleged.

"I do not think the chancellor even addressed the issue that under the contract of employment, Coach Frazier has an absolute due-process right to maintain his innocence," Baden said. "Needless to say, we are unhappy with the fact that a higher education entity, whose history is based on due process, justice and fairness, refused to pay heed to this basic fact and recognize that honoring a human right bestows dignity on a school, not ridicule."

Frazier's case is scheduled for Sept. 30 in a Wake County courtroom. Durham attorney Ralph Frasier Jr., who will serve as Frazier's lead counsel that day, insisted that the communication regarding a financial matter between his client and Turner-Frazier was permissible.

SNbS

September 27, 2013

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