advertisement

Former MU star Crudup awarded damages

But jury fails to reach a verdict on charge of discrimination against Raytown district.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:38 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 7, 2008

KANSAS CITY — Jurors couldn’t reach a verdict Monday on whether the Raytown School District discriminated against former Missouri basketball star Jevon Crudup when firing him from a coaching job.

But they did decide that the parents of a former player contributed to Crudup’s firing as sophomore basketball coach at Raytown South High School, awarding actual damages of $3,249.80, plus another $25,000 in punitive damages.

The parents, Scott and Denise McCarter, secretly taped a profanity-laced tirade that Crudup made to his players. Crudup sued the McCarters and the school district in 2003, alleging that he was fired because he is black and that the school district treated him differently from white coaches who were caught swearing.

The case went to the Jackson County Circuit Court jury on Friday after about two weeks of testimony.

Michael Hanna, who represents the McCarters, said it was too early to decide on an appeal.

“I don’t think the punitive damages should be eight times higher” than the actual damages, Hanna said. “I have some real concern whether this jury understood the jury instructions.”

In his closing argument, Crudup’s attorney, Dennis Egan, said administrators had given longtime head coach Bud Lathrop, who is white, several “second chances” after swearing and that the worst disciplinary action Lathrop got was a suspension.

The school district said race wasn’t an issue in Crudup’s firing, and that his swearing and the tirade at the players sparked the dismissal. Shellie Guin, representing the school district, said administrators first planned to just reprimand Crudup, but changed their minds after learning about the tape.

Crudup also contended that the taping invaded his privacy and contributed to his firing. The jury couldn’t agree on the privacy issue, but agreed that the taping interfered with Crudup’s employment.

Crudup played for MU from 1990 to 1994 and was drafted in the NBA draft’s second round.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements