Tahlequah Daily Press

December 24, 2012

Suit filed on behalf of Sequoyah coach, administrator

CNHI reports

— A wrongful lawsuit has been filed in a Cherokee Nation district court on behalf of two Sequoyah High Schools seeking reinstatement and/or damages.

The suit, filed by Chad Smith, the former Cherokee Nation chief acting as the attorney in the case, is in behalf of head football coach Brent Scott and assistant athletic director Dale Miller. Both received termination papers earlier this month.

The dismissals would seem to be directed at athletic department difficulties that saw the school vacate a state title in slowpitch softball and nine football wins in 2012.

The suit, which was filed on Thursday, does not include Larry Grigg, the former boys basketball coach who became full-time athletic director and was maintaining his position over the slowpitch program at the time they won the title. Grigg was terminated from all duties, including  the  head girls basketball coaching job he was given in the summer. Larry Shade had taken over the basketball duties.  Grigg, who did not return calls to his cell phone on Friday, is according to sources seeking employment elsewhere.

Scott, whose son Brayden was the Indians’ quarterback the past four seasons, signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to play football at the University of Memphis. He signed at a Tulsa sporting goods store, saying at the time he was prevented from having the ceremony at the school he graduates from in December. The elder Scott told the Phoenix that he had “some irons in the fire” regarding other opportunities, but would not elaborate.

The suit alleges that both Brent Scott and Miller were denied a pre-termination due process as provided by the Cherokee Nation Constitution and that superintendent Leroy Qualls acted without the consent of the school’s Board of Education. Attempts to reach Qualls into late Friday were unsuccessful.

Sequoyah forfeited nine football wins and its spot in the Class 3A football playoffs when 12 players were suspended over attending summer camps paid for by the school in violation of an Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association rule. And the school vacated its 2012 Class 5A state title in girls softball for using an ineligible player after the OSSAA denied Kelsey Leach's retroactive hardship eligibility appeal in September.

Since that occurred, the OSSAA retracted thea action and restored Sequoyah's state title.

Grigg said at the time he bore responsibility as athletic director for failing to see the proper paperwork was filed in the case of Leach and other Sequoyah athletes.