Ex-Florida A&M University football coach Earl Holmes is nearing a settlement agreement in his lawsuit against the school’s board of trustees.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Holmes alleged that FAMU owed him the money that remained on his contract at the time of his firing. Holmes was brought on as head coach at the school in 2013, amassing an overall record of 6-16 before he was fired in 2014.
The case had been tied up in court since, with a circuit court judge ruling in 2017 that FAMU did not violate its contract agreement with Holmes, but a district appeals court reversed that decision in 2018. The case was set to proceed to trial later this month.
Tim Jansen, Holmes’ attorney, said that the settlement still needs to be approved by FAMU trustees, but that the figure being discussed could be larger than $200,000. If approved by the school, the settlement could be filed in court by Thursday.
The settlement could be a sign of things to come in the case of another ex-Rattlers coach, who has also retained Jansen as his representation. Former FAMU basketball coach Clemon Johnson was fired in the third year of a four-year contract in April of 2014. Johnson sued the school in 2015 alleging breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and negligent misrepresentation.
The appellate court’s ruling in Holmes’ case also applies to Johnson’s lawsuit, setting up a similar situation between Johnson and FAMU.