RAVENNA, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a ruling Thursday that the Peoria, Illinois-based Bradley University intentionally interfered with Kent State University's contract with a former basketball coach.
A Portage County judge upheld Kent State's motion for summary judgment against Bradley University and found that Bradley University intentionally interfered with the contractual relationship between Kent State and Gene Ford, Kent State's former men's head basketball coach. The judge ruled that Bradley University brought about the breach of contract without justification.
After signing a contract extension with Kent State through the end of the 2014-2015 season that made him the highest-paid coach in the conference, Ford agreed to become Bradley University's head basketball coach in March 2011, allegedly breaching the terms of his employment contract with Kent State.
"We have a duty to protect our public colleges and universities from third-parties that try to undermine or interfere with their contracts," DeWine said. "When a university disregards those contracts and knowingly poaches another school's coach, that university must be held accountable."
Kent State sued Ford and Bradley University on April 26, 2011. The court previously issued a $1.2 million judgment against Ford.
A Portage County jury will determine the amount of damages owed to Kent State by Bradley University.