Former Clarkson head coach Mark Morris filed two lawsuits on Friday against Clarkson University over his firing earlier this season.
Morris was fired in November for incidents that took place during a morning practice involving Golden Knights forward Zach Schwan. Morris was accused of getting into a physical confrontation Schwan. The school fired Morris after a 10-day investigation.
Morris is now fighting back by filing one lawsuit seeking in excess of $10 million in damages based on lost future earnings. He is also asking to be reinstated as head coach at Clarkson, and that the current job search for a head coach cease and desist immediately.
He also filed another lawsuit for $1 million in damages for breach of contract.
The Watertown Daily Times reports that Mr. John A. Piasecki filed the lawsuits on Morris’ behalf, and that Morris maintains he didn’t do anything to warrant his firing and that Clarkson took advantage of the confrontation with Schwan to fire him.
“We think the decision was made somewhere along the line and that the incident served as a quicksilver event that allowed the university to put its plan into action,” said Piasecki.
The school had a cautious reaction.
“The university has not been served the paper yet, so we have not had an opportunity to review the allegations made in the lawsuit,” said Anne Sibler, public relations director for Clarkson. “Generally, we don’t comment on university matters that are in litigation. It should be settled in court.”
According to the complaint, Morris met with athletic director Sean Frazier on Nov. 4 and gave his account of the confrontation. He then met the next day with school vice president Gary Kelly. At the conclusion of meeting with Kelly, Morris was told that the university would not support him, that he was to be suspended on the spot and that “the end result would be his termination.”
The other complaint, for future compensation damages, was filed asking for Morris’ reinstatement and the suspension of the current head coaching job search.
“The search process, in and of itself, has and is causing irreparable harm to Mr. Morris,” said the complaint.
Morris, when reached by the Daily Times, would not offer a comment.
“I am going to refrain from commenting, but hopefully things will work out,” said Morris.