POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — Marist College is seeking monetary damages for breach of contract from former basketball coach Matt Brady, James Madison University and the commonwealth of Virginia.

The suit alleges Brady was in breach of contract for leaving his job last year without written permission and then signing four players who he had offered scholarships at Marist. The players followed Brady to James Madison.

Notice of the lawsuit was served six months ago as required by Virginia law. Papers were filed July 20 in New York’s Dutchess County Court.

Attempts to reach Brady were unsuccessful. James Madison athletic director Jeff Bourne said Friday that school officials cannot comment on pending litigation.

The suit alleges that Brady was in breach of contract for leaving his job last year without written permission and then signing the four players.

“The two parties signed a contract. One party agreed to the terms of that contract, the other didn’t,” Marist athletic director Tim Murray said. “We want to make sure if there’s a contract out there, both parties should be bound to it.”

Marist officials declined to say how much money was being sought.

“We were hoping that this could be resolved amicably,” Murray said. “Unfortunately, it got to the point where we just had to move forward to try to force a resolution.”

Murray said Marist did not object when Brady left for a new job as long as he abided by the details of his contract, namely taking a hands-off stance on any player he recruited and those who had played for him at Marist.

Brady was hired by Marist in spring 2005 to replace Dave Magarity. In his second season, Brady guided the Red Foxes to the 2007 NIT and other colleges took note. After signing a new contract that would have kept him at Marist through the 2010-11 season, Brady reached agreement with James Madison in March 2008.

Brady, who brought his entire Marist coaching staff with him to James Madison, then signed 6-foot-10 center Trevon Flores, 6-9 power forward Alvin Brown, 6-7 small forward Andrey Semenov, and 6-6 small forward Julius Wells. All four were offered scholarships by Marist when Brady was coach, and Semenov had verbally accepted before rescinding.

“We had that stipulation in the contract for what we thought was good reason,” Murray said. “It ended up that four of his five players in his first recruiting class (at James Madison) were involved. But this isn’t about the kids. We didn’t want to impact them in any way. If young men or women don’t want to play for Marist, then so be it.

“This is solely about the contract. It’s just unfortunate for all parties that it has to come to this.”

Marist officials said they have been in contact since last year with James Madison and Brady regarding an out-of-court settlement but have gotten nowhere.


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