Former LSU football coach loses appeal over firing after recruiting violations

Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA
The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld a ruling in LSU's favor on Wednesday. Photo by LSU Athletics

The Louisiana Supreme court rejected an appeal from former LSU football coach James Cregg who said he was unfairly fired during the COVID pandemic.

Cregg acknowledged he conducted off-campus visits with recruits during a dead period in 2020, though he said the meetings were not prearranged. He said LSU fired him before it or the NCAA had made any formal findings that he violated recruiting policies.

Originally, a Baton Rouge judge ruled in Cregg’s favor and ordered LSU to pay him around $500,0000, but on March 1 the Circuit Court of Appeal ruled with LSU. The ruling said that LSU was within its rights to fire Cregg. The state Supreme Court voted 6-1 to uphold that decision on Wednesday.

The NCAA said that Cregg had provided directions to his location and the argument that the meetings weren’t prearranged was disproven. A prospective athlete’s mother said she was looking to buy a home in Cregg’s neighborhood, and he told her they should “stop by.” Cregg met with the athlete and his family and gave them LSU gear.

Cregg argued that LSU had already decided to hire his replacement before he was fired and violated his contract. LSU President William F. Tate IV wrote to Cregg and told him he didn’t have a case.

“Although you complain of the timing of Brad Davis’ hire, such is irrelevant to your misconduct in September 2020 and your failure to truthfully respond during the NCAA interview in May 2021,” Tate wrote.

Cregg now works as the Las Vegas Raiders offensive line coach after spending two years with the San Francisco 49ers.

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Will Nickel

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