Fired St. Bonaventure basketball coach Jan van Breda Kolff has agreed to settle his lawsuit against the university that claimed he was wrongfully dismissed in 2003 following a player eligibility scandal.
Terms of the settlement, which was supervised by a federal magistrate judge, were not disclosed. The university said its costs would be covered by an insurance carrier.
"I am delighted that this sad chapter in my life and that of the university is behind us," van Breda Kolff said in a statement Tuesday. "I wish for St. Bonaventure and its men's basketball program every future success."
"We are pleased to bring this matter to closure," said Sister Margaret Carney, St. Bonaventure president.
Van Breda Kolff's $21.5 million lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Buffalo in April 2004, claimed breach of contract, libel and other issues. The unjust termination lawsuit filed by former Athletics Director Gothard Lane is still pending.
Van Breda Kolff was dismissed in April 2003, shortly after the men's basketball program was sanctioned by the Atlantic 10 Conference for using junior forward Jamil Terrell, who was ruled ineligible because he failed to meet NCAA junior college transfer guidelines.
The team was stripped of six conference victories and barred from the postseason. Players voted to boycott their final two games in protest, a move that cost the school more than $120,000 in fines.
A St. Bonaventure investigation found no direct evidence that van Breda Kolff knew of Terrell's status, but concluded he should have attempted to determine the player's eligibility considering he was aware that questions had been raised.
Van Breda Kolff was completing his second season at St. Bonaventure when he was fired, and had four years left on his contract, worth about $900,000.
He was the head coach at Vanderbilt for six seasons and Pepperdine for two before succeeding Jim Baron at St. Bonaventure. Van Breda Kolff took Vanderbilt and Pepperdine to one NCAA Tournament each.
"Now that the last remnants of this dark cloud have been lifted, Jan and those who care about him are extremely hopeful that he will soon be able to again become a successful NCAA Division I men's head basketball coach," said van Breda Kolff attorney Lew Conner.
Van Breda Kolff worked in the 2003-04 season as an assistant with the NBA's New Orleans Hornets but lost that job when head coach Tim Floyd was fired after the season. He has returned to Nashville, Tenn., where he had coached Vanderbilt University for six years, to run basketball clinics.
In other Bonaventure basketball news, the school has indefinitely suspended sophomore guard Tyler Relph for an unspecified violation of the code of conduct and team policy. Relph, a transfer from West Virginia, sat out last season but would have been eligible in the fall.
BASEBALL: Niagara shortstop Andrew MacDonald went 7 for 7 with 5 RBIs to lead the Purple Eagles to a sweep of host St. Bonaventure, 13-5 and 5-4. NU trailed, 5-1, before scoring six runs in the fifth inning of the first game. Niagara scored the second game's winning run on a single by Dan Parsons in the top of the seventh. Chris Cerchie (2-0) and Josh Sawatzky (2-2) got the wins. . . . Todd Negrych (Sweet Home), Derek Nero (West Seneca East) and Kevin Maluchnik (Niagara Falls) got two hits each for Medaille in a 4-3 win over Lake Erie in the first game of a doubleheader. Erik Saladin drove in all the Mavericks' runs in a 4-3 loss in the nightcap. . . . Erie Community College pitcher Brian Alterio (Niagara Falls) earned a save in the first game and a win in the second as the Kats swept Morrisville, 11-10 and 9-0. Bill Kenyon totaled three doubles and two homers and got seven RBIs.
SOFTBALL: Canisius pitcher Andrea Bunten set a school record with 18 strikeouts in the first game and the Golden Griffins' Jessica Martin hit a game-winning three-run homer in the nightcap to sweep visiting Niagara, 5-1 and 5-2. Bunten had held the record with 17 strikeouts. . . . Buffalo State freshman Jordan Banach (Maryvale) hit a two-run double in the bottom of the 11th to give the Bengals a 12-11 victory and a sweep of a doubleheader over the University of Rochester. Buffalo State won the first game, 9-1, in five innings behind the six-hit pitching of Nicole Sabuda (Orchard Park). . . . Medaille pitcher Michelle Peruzzini (JFK) won both games in a 7-5, 10-2 sweep of Lake Erie. Shannon O'Brien (JFK) and Sara Lewis (Barker) had two hits each in the first game. Shannon Superczynski (Villa Maria) and Kristy Bonetto (Orchard Park) got two hits apiece in the nightcap as the Mavericks improved to 14-14.
News wire services contributed to the report