Contractual Issues

Former College Basketball Coach Sues Kennesaw State over Promised Job Offer

The following article was written by Spencer Wingate.

Kevin Cantwell has filed a lawsuit for unspecified damages against the Georgia Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in Cobb County Superior Court. The lawsuit stems from a meeting he had with his neighborhood friend, Daniel Papp. Cantwell alleges he was offered the Kennesaw State head basketball coaching job by Papp, the school’s president, on February 16th 2011. Cantwell states he received an email from Papp asking him to meet and once he entered Papp’s living room, was offered the position of head basketball coach.  Papp promised a salary of $340,000 for Cantwell and his assistants. The school was finishing up its 2010-2011 season, so Cantwell stated Papp informed him the announcement could not occur until the season ended and Coach Tony Ingle was fired.

Following the news, Cantwell, a former Georgia Tech assistant basketball coach for fourteen years, began to assemble his staff. It was set to include former Tech guards Kenny Anderson and Jon Babul. Cantwell began to recruit high school players for Kennesaw State and claims Papp knew of his actions. An NCAA violation would have been committed if this is true, as a non-coach, non-employee cannot recruit student-athletes on behalf of an institution.  With the promise of a job, Cantwell resigned his position as coach of a private school team in Waynesboro, North Carolina and his business of running basketball clinics, while his wife Cathy gave up a position to work at an insurance company. He moved to his previously vacant home in Marietta, Georgia to be closer to Kennesaw State.

By April 9th 2011, less than two months after being promised the coach position, Papp and Cantwell were no longer speaking. On this day, Papp walked alongside the property line of their homes where Cantwell was outside cutting down a tree and informed Cantwell he would not be the coach at Kennesaw State.  Lewis Preston received the position. Cantwell states that due to a financial bind he has been forced to file the lawsuit. USA Today’s report contains comments directly from Cantwell, but Papp would not comment. Kenny Anderson corroborates Cantwell’s story, while it appears details regarding the failing out between Cantwell and Papp remain unclear.