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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Fired St. John’s Basketball Coach Mike Anderson Seeks $45 Million from School

  • Anderson claims St. John’s made up reasons to fire him to avoid paying his buyout.
  • The former St. John’s coach claims his buyout funds were instead used to hire Rick Pitino.
Anderson coached St. John's from 2019-2021.
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Former St. John’s men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson is seeking $45.6 million from the university over claims that St. John’s “manufactured” causes for his firing so the school could avoid paying his buyout and use the money towards hiring Rick Pitino. 

According to a termination letter obtained by ESPN, St. Johns fired Anderson on March 10 for “failure to perform your duties and responsibilities in a manner that reflected positively on St. John’s University  … in actions [that] brought serious discredit” to the school and “failure to appropriately supervise and communicate with your assistant coaches.”

Anderson reportedly claims that St. John’s officials tried to offer him a buyout before then accusing him of “fictitious” problems within his basketball program and firing him for cause. Pitino was hired by St. John’s on March 20 in a six-year deal reportedly worth $20 million.

“St. John’s manufactured out of whole cloth its preposterous ‘for cause’ termination of Mr. Anderson’s employment with the sole purpose of attempting to extricate the University from its $11.4 million ironclad contractual obligation to Mr. Anderson, specifically so that it could otherwise divert those funds to Pitino,” a filing by Anderson’s representative says, per ESPN.

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