Henry Frazier III, the former head football coach of North Carolina Central University who was fired last August after a confrontation with his ex-wife, has sued the university.
Frazier sued for breach of contract, wrongful discharge and other causes. In addition to punitive damages, he seeks to reclaim his coaching job. He filed the complaint in Durham Superior Court in April.
Frazier was fired after serving the first two seasons on his five-year contract, which paid an annual base salary of $225,500 with academic and performance-based bonus opportunities.
The confrontation with his wife stemmed from an incident last July, when Frazier received notice that his car, which his ex-wife had been driving, was ticketed in Washington, D.C. Frazier says he sent his ex-wife a copy of the parking citation with a note indicating he would deduct the amount of the ticket from his next alimony check. She then accused him of violating a domestic violence restraining order. Frazier was arrested, released and given a September court hearing.
Frazier was fired Aug. 22. During the September hearing he was found not guilty.
Frazier claims that NCCU breached his contract by preventing him from defending himself against false allegations. In his complaint, Frazier cites a contract provision stating: “Any discipline under this subsection shall not violate the due process rights of Coach to defend himself against false and/or malicious prosecution or accusations.”
“Mr. Frazier’s ex-wife made claims against him that turned out to be untrue,” said Fraizer’s attorney, Adam Hopler. “Rather than wait for the court system to do its thing, they decided to terminate him for the sole purpose of publicity, it would seem.”
It was not Frazier’s first domestic-related episode. He was suspended by NCCU in May 2012 for assault on a female, but was reinstated after the case was reportedly dropped.
Frazier, who was hired in 2011 as an assistant coach, led the program to a 6-5 season in his second year. After Dwayne Foster coached the team during last year’s 5-7 season, Jerry Mack was hired as head coach in December.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that an NCCU spokesperson did not return an email message for comment. In fact, the spokesperson did not have opportunity to comment because the email directed to her was not sent to the proper address.