UK officials to give depositions

ralessi@herald-leader.comAugust 28, 2009 

Former University of Kentucky Coach Billy Gillispie's lawyers on Thursday notified UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. and Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart that they will take their depositions next month as part of the coach's breach of contract lawsuit.

Gillispie's lawyers also have subpoenaed documents from Todd and Barnhart regarding correspondence with or about Gillispie, certain tax filings and payment records, as well as documents concerning the university and its athletics association's contacts in Texas, such as recruiting trips, fund-raising letters, travel, advertising or scholarship offers to students.

The deposition notices were filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas, where Gillispie filed his lawsuit against the UK Athletics Association in May.

Todd and Barnhart fired Gillispie in March.

Barnhart's deposition is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 21, and Todd's is slated for 1:30 p.m. the same day. Both will take place in Lexington at the office of UK's outside counsel, Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney.

UK's lawyers have asked the court to dismiss the suit because they say Gillispie sued the wrong entity by naming the UK Athletics Association instead of the university. Short of dismissal, UK's lawyers at least want a change of venue because they say the Texas court has no jurisdiction.

Gillispie's camp has until Sept. 23 to respond to UK's motion to dismiss.

As a result, many of the documents Gillispie's lawyers are seeking from Todd and Barnhart have to do with the UK Athletics Association and its connections to Texas.

Among the requests are:

■ Documents concerning Gillispie's evaluations at Texas A&M University, where he coached before coming to UK in 2007.

■ Telephone records between athletics association board members or employees and people in Texas.

■ Records regarding any travel to Texas by former UK Coach Tubby Smith or Mickie DeMoss, UK's former women's basketball coach.

■ Correspondence between Barnhart and DeMoss, as well as any records UK has related to De Moss's move to become an assistant coach at the University of Texas in July 2007, just three months after stepping down as UK's coach with four years left on her contract.

Gillispie is asking for at least $6 million, which he says UK owes him under terms of a memorandum of understanding for firing him two years into a seven-year agreement.

UK officials, however, have said Gillispie was employed on a year-by-year basis because the two sides never agreed to terms of an official contract. Gillispie's lawyers say UK officials repeatedly referred to that memorandum as having the force of a contract.

UK officials declined to comment on pending litigation, said spokesman Jimmy Stanton. And Gillispie's lawyer, Demetrios Anaipakos couldn't be reached for comment.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service