Former University of Alabama wide receiver Antonio “A.C.” Carter has filed a fraud lawsuit against coach Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic and the state of Florida.
In the complaint, submitted Tuesday in Shelby County, Ala., where Carter resided, he claims Kiffin deliberately misled him regarding a job on the FAU football staff in order to benefit from his family relationship with a prospect.
However, after believing he had been hired and the prospect accepted a scholarship with the Owls, Carter was notified by school officials that he didn’t pass the required background check and would not be employed “due to two prior minor misdemeanor criminal charges.”
Carter claims in the lawsuit that he sent documentation showing the resolution of the charges, one of which the prosecutor refused to pursue more than seven years ago, but FAU didn’t respond and numerous other inquiries went unanswered. That included waiting for hours outside of Patrick Chun’s office only to have the FAU athletic director refuse to meet with him.
The one-year position was assistant strength and conditioning coach, while also working with the wide receivers during practices. It came with a $40,000 salary plus potential bonuses, and $4,000 to cover relocation expenses.
Carter claims that after being assured by Kiffin that his employment was “done,” he and his wife quit their jobs and he traveled to campus to help the Owls on National Signing Day. He specifically was tasked with recruiting the previously mentioned prospect and two others who FAU successfully signed.
The lawsuit doesn’t mention the primary recruit by name, but it refers to him as being a former 4-star prospect who at one point signed a letter of intent with Florida, became a junior college player and hailed from Carter’s hometown of Tallahassee, Fla.
In 2015, D’Anfernee McGriff was a 4-star running back out of Leon High School in Tallahassee, who before Florida had been committed to Auburn. He played last season at Iowa Western Community College.
“The prospect’s family had just celebrated New Year’s Eve together with Plaintiff Antonio Carter and his family just a few weeks earlier,” the lawsuit states. “It is believed that this relationship between Plaintiff Antonio Carter and the coveted prospect was known to the coaches and defendants at the time he was hired.”
Kiffin’s coaching staff already has come under significant fire for including assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, who is mentioned in a lawsuit filed against Baylor following its sexual assault scandal. Two assistant coaches arrived from Ole Miss, which is being investigated by the NCAA, and defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Eric Mathies was arrested in 2014 on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.
Carter was a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide before a leg injury ended his career in 2001. Although his comeback attempt lasted until 2004, he finished with 106 receptions for 1,294 yards.
He’s since gotten into coaching, working as a grad assistant at Alabama and UTEP before becoming the passing coordinator at Appalachian State (2008), wide receivers coach at Eastern Michigan (2009) and Samford (2010-12), and completed an internship with the Indianapolis Colts. Carter also has coached at numerous high schools.