HOUSTON – A week after Phi Slama Jama great Michael Young filed a lawsuit against his former school, University of Houston officials released a state clarifying their position.
Young, who was Director of Basketball Operations, left the program after the school asked him to take on another role within the athletic department.
Here is the statement:
“Michael Young’s previous contract with the University of Houston as the Director of Basketball Operations ended May 31, 2013. The University made the decision to move in another direction in which Young would not have direct involvement with the Men’s Basketball Program. To provide continuity for Young, the University decided to offer him a new contract that would have him transition into new community relations duties within the Athletic Department. The new contract gave Young a year at his same salary.
With Young’s multiple years of service to the University, both as a player and a coach, the University wanted to take advantage of his skill set and allow him the opportunity to explore other options while still employed. The University offered the new contract to Young containing the community relations duties, and he signed the contract on May 30, 2013. The University has continued its obligations under this new contract and has tried to assign him duties, only to be rebuffed by Young’s attorney. However, because Young, through his attorney, refused to perform any duties under the new contract, the University was compelled to provide notice to Young on June 17, 2013, that it was exercising its right under the contract to terminate the contract on 30 days’ notice. The University will continue its contractual obligations to pay Young through July 17, 2013.
At no time was Young informed that he should or could sit at home, not perform work and accept a paycheck from the University, nor was Young ever told his employment was contingent on his son playing basketball for the University. Young’s arrangement in his new community relations role was reviewed by the Athletic Department’s compliance office, as well as the Office of the General Counsel, to ensure it was in compliance with applicable laws and NCAA bylaws. The University has been transparent, and its actions have been appropriate. We are disheartened and saddened to hear these allegations we believe are baseless and untrue. We do not intend to comment further except to state we look forward to defending our actions in court.”
Young alleges UH asked him to “engage in the illegal act of accepting money without performing a service and to violate NCAA rules” when he was offered the other position.