Mike Haywood is still seeking money from Pitt (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
I really hope this is a slow week - the ACC weekend practically wore me out.
That said, things aren't slowing down for the time being. Mike Haywood, unable to get satisfaction from Pitt, has now filed suit reportedly seeking millions of dollars.Haywood is apparently seeking damages because the university refused to pay his buyout:
"Mr. Haywood said that if they paid the buyout, he would drop the whole thing," Buzbee said. "And they wouldn’t do that."
He described the attitude of Pitt officials as "flippant" and added that the meeting was a wasted trip, saying that Pitt didn’t gather any of the information it was supposed to.
Buzbee said several letters exchanged with the University proved unsuccessful in helping the situation and that Haywood decided not to drop the issue.
"We did everything we could to avoid this lawsuit," Buzbee said.
The lawsuit apparently has nothing to with the discrimination complaint that Haywood opened with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission earlier this summer.
Look, were details of the circumstances of Haywood's arrest a bit misleading? Probably - especially if you believe the story of what reportedly happened:
Pitt "was fully aware that he was embroiled in a custody dispute with his son's mother," the complaint said. On Dec. 31, that dispute resulted in an incident, the complaint said, in which the mother grabbed Mr. Haywood's shoulder, he pushed her hand off, and she slipped in slush and fell onto a wheelbarrow.
That's a far cry from what we typically think of when hearing the words 'domestic violence.' And to be fair, if that's what really happened, then he's gotten a bit of a bad rap - no question. I once hit my wife in the face while I was sleeping and in the midst of having a bad dream - does that make me a wife-beater? Of course not.
But college football is a different animal. Haywood would be regularly going into the houses of kids, trying to recruit them to come to Pitt. Perception is everything and it's arguable that Pitt couldn't have the perception of the arrest (right or wrong) continue to haunt the program.
To be perfectly honest, I'm surprised this situation hasn't gone away yet. The basis of the lawsuit appears to be that Haywood's side feels he was dismissed too quickly. But (and we've been over this) in the world of college athletics, the argument can be made that Pitt would have been hard pressed to simply wait it out - especially being in the stretch run for recruiting.
And, yeah, anything remotely playing the race card with that PHRC filing was idiotic. The fact that Haywood was hired (as a largely unpopular hire, if you remember) in the first place should show that Pitt gave him a fair chance. So after he's arrested for a domestic violence charge and Pitt fires him, all of a sudden they decide to discriminate against him? Doesn't make sense.
On one hand, I respect Pitt for not giving in to this guy to give him what they don't feel he deserves, but on the other, I'd like to see them be rid of him.