Casey's Suit May Be Heard in L.A.

A motion has been filed in federal court to have the case involving Kentucky assistant basketball coach Dwane Casey's $6.9 million lawsuit against Emery Air Freight Corp. moved to Los Angeles, lawyers for the defendants said.

Attorneys representing Emery have also filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Lexington seeking additional time to prepare a defense.

Casey's suit, filed July 8, is based on the alleged circumstances surrounding a package he is said to have mailed March 30 to Claud Mills, the father of Kentucky recruit Chris Mills. The package was found open in Emery's Los Angeles depot. A story in the Los Angeles Daily News quoted several Emery employees as saying the package contained $1,000 as well as a videotape.

In his suit, Casey says Emery and the other defendants are liable on such grounds as unlawful disclosure of information, invasion of privacy, defamation of character and negligence. Casey seeks $6,966,950 in compensatory damages and an unspecified amount in punitive damages.

In an unrelated development, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that the NCAA is investigating Kentucky for the recruitment of Ohio prep star Lawrence Funderburke, a 6-8 forward who will be a senior this fall at Columbus Wehrle High School.

Chuck Kemper, the high school's basketball coach, confirmed NCAA investigators were in Columbus asking questions as recently as two weeks ago. Kemper said the NCAA is interested in the involvement of Bill Chupil, a Columbus-area talent scout and Kentucky graduate, in the recruitment of Funderburke.

If Chupil is found to have acted as an agent for the university, it could result in additional charges against the university. Last Monday, the NCAA lodged one charge against the university for recruitment violations and said approximately 10 more would be forwarded within the next 30 days.

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