Former Tennessee Coach Tyndall Says He Will Sue NCAA has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

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Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)
USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee; John Adams

Former Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall, who received one of the harshest penalties in NCAA history, said Tuesday he plans to file a federal lawsuit against the NCAA.

"Obviously, there will be different parts (to the suit)," Tyndall said on the Sports Page radio show on 1180 WVLZ. "Slander and defamation will be part of it."

Tyndall said he is in the process of forming a legal team with the intent of suing the organization that gave him a 10-year show-cause penalty in April of 2016.

"I think we would probably file the case this spring or early summer," said Tyndall, who is now coaching the Raptors 905 in the NBA Development League. "We're going to fight this thing to the very end."

The penalties against Tyndall stemmed from multiple Level 1 NCAA violations, including widespread academic fraud, that occurred while he was the coach at Southern Mississippi from 2012-2014.

Tyndall was hired at Tennessee in April of 2014, then fired a year later after findings of the NCAA's investigation of Southern Mississippi were made public. UT athletic director Dave Hart said Tyndall never would have been hired if the full extent of the violations had been known.

The 10-year, show-cause penalty is tied for the longest ever issued by the NCAA. Former Baylor basketball coach Dave Bliss received a 10-year show-cause in 2005.

While a coach is under a show-cause penalty, an NCAA-member school could be punished severely for hiring him. If it does hire a coach under a show-cause, the school must prove to the NCAA why it shouldn't be sanctioned for hiring him.

In Tyndall's case, the NCAA also gave him a half-year suspension if he returned to college coaching after the 10-year penalty had expired. The severity of the penalties basically ended his college coaching career at the NCAA level.

"No question (the penalty ended his college career)," Tyndall said. "They even said that in my appeal. They said they wanted to make an example of me. They certainly did."

Earlier this month, the NCAA appeals committee denied Tyndall's appeal of the show-cause sentence.

Tyndall has contended that the NCAA violated its own bylaws when it allowed one of its assistant coaches, Adam Howard, to testify with immunity from punishment.

Howard, who also was on Tyndall's staff at Tennessee, is now an assistant coach at Troy. Tyndall has disputed Howard's testimony and also has criticized Hart.

"(The NCAA) made Dave think they had information they didn't have," Tyndall said in the radio interview. "They got Dave to panic and fire me.

"I tried to convince him to let the investigation run its course. When he didn't do that, I was disappointed. If he had known then what he knows now, he would have stood behind me."

Tyndall was making $1.6 million a year when he was fired at UT.

February 22, 2017


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