Legal Fight Between Fired Coach, College Heats Up

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Matt Heath, a current member of the baseball coaching staff with the University of Tennessee-Martin, is still in the midst of a legal fight with his former employer, the College of Charleston.

Heath, the former head baseball coach at C of C, was fired in late June of 2017 over alleged verbal and physical abuse of his players. Heath filed a wrongful termination suit against the school, as well as AD Matt Roberts, in July 2017.

The Post and Courier reports that the two sides reached a settlement in November that would pay Heath $166,000 — but the legal fight continues with no end in sight.

Heath’s suit claims that he was fired from his post at the College of Charleston so that Roberts could clear the way for Chad Holbrook. Holbrook, the former head coach at South Carolina, and Roberts are reportedly close friends. Roberts and C of C claim that Heath was fired for “just cause.”

A school investigation into Heath and the state of the Cougar baseball program kicked off in June 2017, and resulted in multiple allegations of misconduct.

The Post and Courier outlines a list of allegations that date back to 2015, when Heath was an assistant coach. Among them are multiple instances where Heath is alleged to have yelled at and humiliated players, hurling insults and issuing punishments for poor performance.

Among the more serious allegations is one 2015 incident, when Heath, then an assistant coach, grabbed an unidentified pitcher “up by his neck” and imitated a sex act by “repeatedly thrusting the mid-section of his body against the pitcher and said that this was what the hitters were doing to the pitcher.”

Heath denies the allegations, and claims that the investigation was initiated with the goal of ending his tenure as coach.

The settlement agreement reached in November was contingent on a forensic examination of Roberts’ and Holbrook’s electronic devices to determine whether there were messages or evidence to contradict the sworn statement Roberts gave in the case. Since then, Heath’s legal team has filed a motion to dismiss the settlement agreement, reinstate the lawsuit, and bring the case to trial.  


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