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Former Coach Sues SC State for Not Getting Rid of Him

Paul Steinbach
Sc State

Former head men’s basketball head coach Murray Garvin filed a lawsuit Friday against South Carolina State University and athletic director Stacy Danley, alleging his team was underfunded and that he was unfairly retained.

Garvin coached the men’s team from 2011 to 2021 and alleges that during that time, the team was underfunded.

As reported by NBC affiliate WCBD in Charleston, Garvin claims that the school did not give him access to all guaranteed game funds that he was supposed to be entitled to under his contract, and thus couldn't hire a third assistant coach.

Garvin said his contract provided that “any and all monies generated in excess of $300,000 but less than $350,000 from annual game guarantees raised by Employee will be for the sole purpose of funding the employment of an additional Men’s Basketball Coach or Director of Basketball Operations.”

Garvin claims that during the 2014-2015 season, he exceeded that requirement but the school interfered with his attempt to use the funding to hire a third assistant coach.

In addition, the lawsuit claims that Danley interfered with Garvin’s ability to coach and that Danley’s actions prohibited Garvin from being successful in order to install a preferred successor.

The lawsuit further claims that SC State was negligent in hiring and supervising Danley based on prior allegations. Danley had served as the athletic director at Alabama State University for two years before being terminated for a number of reasons, including acting in an “unprofessional, disrespectful and hostile” manner and “a failure to ensure accountability in the athletic department’s staff.”

“A University is allowed to hire the coach of its choosing, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about that. We allege that SC State University failed to uphold its contractual obligations to Coach Garvin to get rid of him and that it was actively courting his successor at the same time,” Garvin’s attorney Paul Porter said. “Every contract in South Carolina has an underlying duty of good faith and fair dealing. We intend to show that the University did not act in good faith and did not deal fairly with Murray Garvin.”

Following the 2015-16 season, Garvin was voted Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to their best finish since 2005, and finished his time in Orangeburg with an overall record of 82-168, WCBD reported.

Garvin’s lawsuit includes a claim of defamation and seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

This is the second lawsuit filed against SC State by a former basketball coach this year. In February, women’s basketball coach Audra Smith alleged that the university violated Title IX guidelines, citing similar claims of underfunding. Smith’s contract was terminated one day after filing that suit.

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