Phi Slama Jama Star|Sues U of Houston

     HOUSTON (CN) – The University of Houston offered to pay an alumnus of its Phi Slama Jama team for “sitting at home” so long as his son played for the school, the man claims in court.
     Michael Young sued the University of Houston in Harris County Court.
     Young was a member of the Cougars’ Phi Slama Jama teams that made three Final Four appearances in the early 1980s. Its members included Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. Young, a small forward and shooting guard nicknamed the Silent Assassin, went on to play three years in the NBA and another 12 in the Continental Basketball Association and Europe.
     Young has worked for UH for the past 16 years, the last seven of them as its director of basketball operations, according to the Houston Chronicle.
     He claims in his lawsuit that his relationship with the school went south when its deputy athletic director Darren Dunn told him he would “be reassigned to community services projects.”
     Dunn is not a defendant in the lawsuit, whose only defendant is the school.
     “On May 28, 2013 Mr. Young met with deputy athletic director Darren Dunn, Mac Rhoads, athletic director, and James Dickey, the men’s head basketball coach told Mr. Young he would no longer be director of basketball operations and Mr. Young would have nothing else to do with men’s basketball and Darren Dunn would be Mr. Young’s new supervisor,” the complaint states. “Mr. Young is to report to Darren Dunn. Then Darren Dunn told Mr. Young the University of Houston contract would have the same title so his salary would remain the same but he would be reassigned to community services projects.
     “Mr. Dunn told Mr. Young to clean out his office of personal items by Friday. Friday morning after Mr. Young had signed the contract on Thursday, May 30, 2013, that forms the basis of his request for rescission, Mr. Dunn told Mr. Young to turn in his keys and any other access card he may have for the University of Houston Athletic Pavilion and Hofheinz Pavilion.
     “It was clear Mr. Dunn did not want Mr. Young on campus and that he would be paid to sit at home. The University of Houston did not provide any equipment for Mr. Young’s home to perform his duties such as internet access, fax machine, computer, stationary, copy machine or printer. Mr. Dunn also told him that as long as his son, Joseph Young, was a player at the University of Houston the contract would be good, but if Joseph left the University of Houston the contract would end. When Mr. Young signed the contract offered by the University of Houston he was under the impression that the deputy athletic director of the University of Houston was being honest and forthright with him about his future duties and there was nothing illegal or untoward about the arrangement.”
     Joseph Young, a sophomore guard, was the Cougars’ leading scorer last season, according to the Chronicle.
     Michael Young says in his lawsuit that he signed his new contract with UH on May 30.
     The one-year contract his salary at $64,000, according to the Chronicle.
     Young says in the complaint that after he signed the contract he just did not feel right about it.
     “After some thought and reflection Mr. Young began to question the propriety of the actions of the University of Houston in light of NCAA rules prohibiting indirect payments to players and felt uneasy about the legality of accepting a salary sitting at home being paid to wait for a telephone call to tell him to engage in ‘community service,'” the complaint states.
     “On the morning of May 31, 2013 while jogging at Memorial Park Mr. Young was approached by an unknown gentleman who asked him if he was aware that there was an investigation going on at the University of Houston about a physical threat of violence against his son. Mr. Young was dumbfounded that he had been a coach at the school and not been told about threats of physical violence against his son. Moreover, his son Joseph was not aware of such threats. Mr. Young at that time surmised the school would do anything, including violate state law and NCAA, rules in order to keep his son playing at University of Houston. Based upon these facts Mr. Young sent an e-mail and rescinded the contract.”
     Young asks the court to declare his contract with UH rescinded as of May 31. He seeks $2,100 in attorney’s fees and court costs.
     He is represented by Reginald E. McKamie Sr.
     Joseph Young left the UH basketball team and announced on June 28 he will transfer to Oregon, according to the Chronicle.

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