Two former assistant football coaches at Cal State Northridge have made a $6-million legal claim against the university for allegedly retaliating against them for cooperating with an investigation into NCAA rules violations.
A lawyer for the former coaches says a lawsuit will follow if the university does not respond within 45 days to the claim, which was mailed Oct. 8. The two claimants, Craig Wall and Keith Borges Jr., were assistant football coaches at the time an anonymous letter sparked an inquiry into possible NCAA violations.
University spokesman John Chandler declined to comment on allegations made in the claim letter because it involves potential litigation.
In August, Cal State Northridge issued a 130-page internal report detailing alleged abuses involving football coaches, ranging from the use of slush funds to holding illegal barbecues and filing fraudulent expense reports. Interim President Louanne Kennedy fired head football Coach Ron Ponciano in July, shortly after the internal investigation was launched.
Wall and Borges went on lengthy vacations during the investigation. Upon their returns they found themselves off the football sidelines and in the classroom.
“They complied with the investigation . . . and we believe they were retaliated against for their honesty and for being forthright,” said Monica Jimenez, co-counsel for Wall and Borges. “Now they’re just assigned to teaching positions at the university. All they ever wanted to do is to be coaches, and they were excellent coaches.”
Chandler said Dick Dull, who was hired as athletic director during the internal investigation, prevented the men from coaching again. Chandler said he could not discuss why Wall and Borges were reassigned to the classroom because it was a personnel matter.