Since a rather strange and rambling press conference* in early November following his firing as head baseball coach at Auburn University and a tweet of "Amen" after the Iron Bowl that was quickly deleted, not much has been heard from Sunny Golloway.
That changed this afternoon when Rick Karle tweeted that he was told by Golloway's lawyer that he was, indeed, filing suit against Auburn.
Sunny Golloway attorney John Saxon tells me that his client was fired wrongfully, owed salary for between 3 and 4 yrs left on his contract.— Rick Karle (@RickKarle) May 25, 2016
Former AU baseball coach Sunny Golloway suing AU trustees & Jay Jacobs saying he was fired without cause, wants $1 million in salary owed.— Rick Karle (@RickKarle) May 25, 2016
Former @Auburn_Baseball coach Sonny Golloway suing AU trustees, wants $1 million back pay.— Rick Karle (@RickKarle) May 25, 2016
Attorney John Saxon tells me, "They set him up."
The attorney, John Saxon, is definitely implying a conspiracy of some sorts to create a situation that lead to Golloway's firing. He also hasn't given up on that whole "lifetime contract" thing that was discussed in his lawyer's first statement following his firing, apparently. Why does he think that's even a somewhat viable statement to make? Well, because there was a clause that gave him extensions for reaching certain milestones. Of course, if he didn't meet those milestones, he doesn't get the extensions and can be fired, so that's a ridiculous thing to assert.
The official lawsuit is, as Kevin Ives noted, just the November press conference in written form.** Matthew Stevens of the Montgomery Advertiser summed it all up fairly succinctly in a series of Tweets:
Count 1) Breach of contract - Golloway claims Auburn owes him the $1 million buyout in his contract if he were fired with cause. #MGMAuburn— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) May 25, 2016
Count 2) Golloway is claiming Jacobs made him a "permanent employee" & therefore he couldn’t be fired with or without cause. #MGMAuburn
— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) May 25, 2016
Count 3) Golloway is claiming defamation by Auburn AD Jay Jacobs by Jacobs’ claim of firing Golloway with cause. #MGMAuburn— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) May 25, 2016
Count 4) Golloway is claiming fraud vs. Auburn AD Jay Jacobs because Golloway is claiming Jacobs didn’t produce items of the contract.— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) May 25, 2016
Count 5) Golloway is claiming tortious interference vs. AU employees David Benedict, Rich McGlynn, Jeremy Roberts & Scott Duval. #MGMAuburn— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) May 25, 2016
I'm curious about why it's taken this long for the filing to be made. I'd like to believe it's because Golloway had the decency to not want it as a sideshow throughout the 2016 Auburn Baseball season that would distract his former players. With the Tigers' season over, there's a long offseason where this can all play out and hopefully be wrapped up before current Auburn coach Butch Thompson and his 2017 squad hit the diamond next February.
I'm not giving him the benefit of the doubt on anything "decent," though. His complaint also contains this little bit:
In the complaint, Golloway alleges his replacement Butch Thompson used homophobic slurs before a game against Missouri this season— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) May 25, 2016
I don't know one way or the other on the validity of this, but why bring it up? My guess is he'll say one of his former players still on the team told him, but that player isn't likely to want to be identified, so there won't be any corroboration.
Everything about Golloway's and his attorney's treatment of this situation has been strange. It's similar to his calling Bruce Pearl "disgraced" in the initial statement when he was fired. His outlandish statements and claims throughout the process don't really paint him in the best light. They've been prone to grandiose statements such as this one:
You can’t make it up….the opening line of Golloway’s civil suit: "This is the lawsuit that proves the maxim, no good deed goes unpunished."— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) May 25, 2016
Matthew Stevens also brought up another good point with these tweets:
Interesting to note Jacobs, Benedict, McGlynn, Duval & Roberts are listed in their official and individual capacities in Golloway's lawsuit— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) May 25, 2016
Means he is suing them in their official capacity at Auburn and as individuals— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) May 25, 2016
That is hardly the sort of thing you would expect from one who still wants to coach again. He's going complete scorched earth on the Athletic Department and everyone in it. Who is ever going to consider hiring him after that? It really seems like he knows he's not going to get another major job and he's just trying to parlay this whole thing into a big payoff.
What does Auburn have to say about all of this?
Auburn responds to Sunny Golloway's civil suit... pic.twitter.com/299YneIKu1— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) May 25, 2016
It's going to be interesting - and not at all fun - to see how this ends up playing out either in court or in a settlement.
*If you've forgotten just how crazy that press conference was, then definitely go back and read that link. It was weird. Very weird.