Recruiting comment upset supervisor

Updated: April 29, 2005, 1:50 AM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Southern University fired basketball coach Michael Grant, who upset the school last month by interviewing for another job.

Grant was dismissed Wednesday in a letter from Southern chancellor Edward Jackson, according to his attorney Nikki Essix-Manuel. Grant, who has one year left on a three-year contract, was temporarily appointed assistant athletic director until his termination date on May 15.

"If you look at his record, Coach Grant has steered the program to its best season in several years," Essix-Manuel said. "He was really improving the program."

Grant plans to appeal his firing during a hearing before the school's athletic committee on May 9, Essix-Manuel said.

Southern has the right to fire Grant and not pay him his base salary for the third year of his contract if it can establish cause for dismissal. Grant interviewed for the head coaching job at Youngstown State earlier this month.

"Coach Grant has never ceased in his commitment to Southern University," Essix-Manuel said.

Southern, which has had five straight losing seasons, is searching for its fourth basketball coach in six seasons.

Grant, who inherited a program that had back-to-back 20-loss seasons for the first time in school history, went 26-31 in two seasons. The team went 14-15 last season, its best finish since the 1999-2000 season, and reached the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament semifinals for the first time since 2001.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press