Federal court denies fired UK football coach Bassett’s appeal

By Beth Musgrave

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss all claims brought by a former University of Kentucky football coach at the center of the program’s 2002 sanctions.

Claude Bassett, a former recruiting coordinator for UK football, sued the UK Athletics Association, the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference in federal court in Lexington in 2004, alleging antitrust violations, fraud, civil conspiracy and tortious interference of future contracts. Bassett was sanctioned for various recruiting violations involving using booster money inappropriately and for improprieties involving the operation of summer camps.

He later was banned from coaching in the NCAA for eight years. Bassett said he was the scapegoat for problems that UK officials knew about; UK denied that accusation. U.S. District Judge Joseph Hood dismissed part of Bassett’s claims in 2005 and the remaining claims in 2006. Bassett appealed both decisions. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously that all of Bassett’s claims should be dismissed.

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