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Former assistant coach suing Tubby Smith

McClatchy-Tribune News Services

MINNEAPOLIS — Jimmy Williams filed a lawsuit Thursday against Tubby Smith, requesting damages in excess of $50,000 from the Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball coach personally.

Williams already has a "negligent misrepresentation" lawsuit pending against the University of Minnesota over his claims of an aborted hiring in 2007.

In both lawsuits, Williams said he gave up a job as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State based on the offer of a $200,000-a-year job to assist Smith.

With a year remaining on his Oklahoma State contract, Williams said he quit his job there and planned to move to Minnesota. But his hiring was denied by Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi in April 2007.

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Williams has previously claimed his hiring was overruled by Maturi because of NCAA violations committed while Williams was a Gophers assistant in the 1970s under head coaches Bill Musselman and Jim Dutcher.

"Between March 30, 2007, and April 2, 2007, Smith did not disclose to Williams that his authority to hire him was anything but complete and final," the lawsuit said.

Williams is alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

He said he has been unable to find alternative employment as a coach because of the damage caused by Smith’s "false representations of authority."

Lawyers for Smith and Williams weren’t available for comment Thursday.

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