It’s not going to be easy for George Washington to rid themselves of head coach Mike Lonergan, not if the embattled head coach and his attorneys have anything to say about it.
Lonergan believes that he was wrongfully terminated by the university and will attempt to “seek appropriate relief” from the school for breach of contract, according to a statement released by his lawyers on Sunday afternoon. GW and Lonergan agreed to a contract extension following GW’s trip to the 2014 NCAA tournament; he had five years remaining on the deal.
“He cooperated fully with the Title IX review,” the statement read. “The University never identified to the Coach his accuser, much less the details and the substance of the anonymous accusations. He was denied administrative due process in the form of a hearing as required by his contract and the policies of the University.”
“The University failed and refused to give Coach Lonergan written notice of the outcome of the Title IX review, which is required by the University’s own policy, and the University violated the confidentiality provisions of the policy by issuing a press release about the review. He will seek appropriate relief from the University for this wrongful termination and treatment.”
Lonergan was officially fired by the school on Saturday after being notified of their intent on Friday. Lonergan did not show up at a dinner on Friday night that was scheduled with a prospect on an official visit. The dismissal was the result of an investigation into accusations from former players of verbal and emotional abuse. The school was fielded complaints on Lonergan’s behavior after the 2014-15 season, and although he was cleared by the school in a letter, his practices this past season were supervised.
In July, a story published by the Washington Post exposed the allegations against Lonergan, including an accusation that he told a player to try out for the “transgender league”. The school coordinated an independent investigation into the matter following that story, although Lonergan was allowed to take his team to Japan in August. The investigation continued upon the team’s return, leading to this weekend’s decision.
The school announced on Saturday their intent to name an interim head coach for this season.