SOU settles with fired coach

After a court reprimanded it last year for shredding documents in the case, Southern Oregon University has settled out of court with a fired women's basketball coach.

The university paid coach Kevin Wilson an undisclosed amount of money and issued a letter saying his termination in 2005 "was not intended to reflect discredit" on Wilson.

SOU today issued a three-sentence statement about the settlement, including a quote from Wilson saying, "I feel good with the result of this litigation and feel that my name has been cleared."

SOU President Mary Cullinan declined further comment.

The case was settled in late November, just before it went to trial before District Judge Owen Panner, said Wilson's lawyer, Tracy McGovern of Medford. Wilson is now an elementary school basketball coach in Utah.

SOU began an investigation into Wilson's conduct in November 2004 after four SOU basketball players wrote a letter to university officials complaining of harsh treatment from Wilson. All four left the team.

In a lawsuit he filed against the school, Wilson alleged "the investigation was an intentional act to cause plaintiff emotional distress."

Panner in June sanctioned the university after Vice President of Student Affairs Diane Brimmer "shredded all her notes regarding the investigation" into Wilson's conduct, including documentation regarding who made complaints and the contents of those complaints, a log of who Brimmer spoke with during the investigation, and notes of interviews.

Brimmer is no longer employed at SOU.

Wilson complained to the court that the shredding undermined his case and made it difficult to cross-examine witnesses.

— John Darling

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