DESTIN, Florida — Auburn is ready to go the distance if Sunny Golloway’s lawsuit goes to federal court.
The former Auburn baseball coach filed a lawsuit against Auburn for wrongful termination in an 86-page filing last week. He was fired in September amid compliance concerns.
Golloway claimed he did not commit the acts alleged by Auburn and should be provided a $1 million buyout. Auburn believes his firing was for cause.
The case could get messy, especially if it goes to court and enters the discovery phase. Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs, however, is ready to see the case through the end — if it reaches court.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’ll take it as far as they want to take it. Right is right, wrong is wrong.”
Golloway is suing the Auburn Board of Trustees, former Auburn athletics chief operating officer David Benedict, senior associate athletic director Rich McGlynn, director of baseball operations Scott Duval and athletics administrator Jeremy Roberts. He claims breach of contract along with defamation, fraud and tortious interference in the 86-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
Jacobs said he did not read the lawsuit and leaned on others to feed him information in the filing. He released a statement several hours after the lawsuit was filed.
“Instead of recognizing that he broke the rules, Sunny instead lashes out and attacks many members of the Auburn family,” Jacobs said in the statement. “It’s sad that it has come to this, but principle and decency require us not to give in. Sunny still has not come to terms with the seriousness of his violations and the reason he was terminated with cause in the first place. Instead of attacking others, it would be better if Sunny reflected on his own actions.
“Coach Golloway knowingly and repeatedly broke Auburn and NCAA rules, including an attempt to destroy evidence of his violations. We appreciated his coaching skills, but his actions left us no choice but to dismiss him from his position. He now seems to be using legal action in an attempt to divert attention away from his own misconduct.”
Jacobs stood by the comments Wednesday.
“We released a pretty good statement and certainly stand by that,” Jacobs said.
Auburn claims Golloway “knowingly and repeatedly broke Auburn and NCAA rules, including an attempt to destroy evidence of his violations.”
Golloway claims Jacobs told him “We’re not gonna pay you a dime, brother,” when he was informed the firing was for cause.
Golloway claims he responded to the athletics director: “Don’t call me brother.”
Golloway’s contract was worth $650,000 a year and was renewed through the 2019 season thanks to a one-year automatic rollover following the Tigers’ winning season in 2015.
Auburn would owe Golloway $1 million if he was fired “without cause.”