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JMU settles lawsuit over basketball coach hire

James Madison University has settled the lawsuit that accused the school of raiding basketball recruits from a New York college after JMU hired that school’s coach.

JMU will pay $100,000 to Marist College under terms of the settlement, reports the Poughkeepsie Journal. Marist sued both JMU and basketball coach Matt Brady in 2009, accusing Brady of breaching his contract with Marist with help from JMU.

Marist’s case against Brady is going to trial in a New York state court, with testimony starting Monday.

The state of Virginia and JMU both were found in default in 2010 in the Marist lawsuit after state lawyers failed to timely file an answer following remand of the suit from federal court. A New York judge later vacated the finding of default.

A spokesman for JMU could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Marist lawsuit accused Brady of breaching his contract with Marist by not getting written consent before negotiating with JMU and by urging his Marist recruits to switch to JMU. The suit claimed JMU offered scholarships to four Marist recruits in violation of Brady’s contract.

Marist claimed JMU ignored overtures to reach a financial settlement before the suit was filed.

UPDATE:

A spokesperson for JMU said the settlement money will come from “auxiliary reserves.”

The school settled “to avoid spending any further time or expense,” according to a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office.

The lawsuit charged JMU with tortious interference with Brady’s Marist contract and with Brady’s fiduciary duty to Marist.

By Peter Vieth

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