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Minn. Appeals Court Upholds $1M ‘U’ Verdict

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Head coach Tubby Smith of the Minnesota Golden Gophers (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Head coach Tubby Smith of the Minnesota Golden Gophers (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a $1 million civil verdict against the University of Minnesota and men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith and denied their request for a new trial.

The ruling Monday says the school must pay $1 million to Jimmy Williams, a former Oklahoma State assistant coach who quit that job in 2007 because he believed Smith had offered him an assistant coaching job. But the offer was apparently withdrawn after the university’s athletic director discovered Williams had NCAA recruiting violations in his past.

Last year, a Hennepin County jury found Smith misrepresented his authority by offering Williams the post. Several months later, a district court judge reduced the jury’s award to Williams from $1.25 million to $1 million. The state Appeals Court also denied Williams’ request to reinstate the initial jury award.

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