Ex-Georgia coach Harrick's lawsuit dismissed

Updated: September 21, 2006, 12:25 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- A federal judge dismissed the last claims in a defamation lawsuit filed two years ago by Jim Harrick and his son after the basketball coaches were fired by the University of Georgia.

U.S. District Judge Richard Story made his ruling Wednesday, having already tossed out most of the suit in March. That decision did away with all the Harricks' claims except one: that the younger Harrick was defamed by the NCAA.

The father and son had contended the NCAA interfered with their contracts with the UGA Athletic Association during the university's investigation of possible NCAA violations.

The judge dismissed that claim and also ruled that the organizations and people the Harricks sued are eligible to recover legal costs from the Harricks. Jim Harrick and Jim Harrick Jr. have 30 days to appeal.

Harrick coached Georgia from 1999-03, and his son was an assistant. The two sued in February 2004, about a year after they were forced out of their jobs during an investigation of academic fraud in a course the younger Harrick taught to a class that included several basketball players.

The team was placed on probation after the investigation, and an internal investigation found academic fraud was committed in the course taught by Jim Harrick Jr.

The Harricks claimed they were defamed by university president Michael Adams, athletic director Vince Dooley and other university officials.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press