Former SOU coach Wilson, school settle out of court

After being reprimanded in District Court last year for shredding all its documents in the case, Southern Oregon University has settled out of court with fired women's basketball coach Kevin Wilson.

SOU paid Wilson an undisclosed amount and issued a letter saying the termination in 2005 "was not intended to reflect discredit" on Wilson.

The university issued a three-sentence statement Monday about the settlement, including a quote from Wilson saying, "I feel good with the result of this litigation and feel that my name has been cleared."

Wilson's lawyer, Tracy McGovern, said the case was settled in late November, just before it went to trial before Judge Owen Panner in federal district court. McGovern said her client was "satisfied." He is now coaching basketball in an elementary school in Washington, Utah.

McGovern called the shredding "bizarre."

"It undoubtedly hurt their case," she said. "If you're sanctioned for shredding documents in federal court, it's a serious thing. I've never seen it in my 15 years of practice. The court was not happy."

SOU President Mary Cullinan, who signed the letter for Wilson's personnel file, declined to comment on the settlement.

Panner last June sanctioned SOU with an order that the jury in the case may draw "adverse inference" from the shredding of documents, interviews and appointment logs by SOU Vice President of Student Affairs Diane Brimmer, who has left the school.

Wilson had complained to the court that the shredding undermined his case and made it difficult to cross-examine witnesses. Panner agreed, noting last year that the shredding was done through "either bad faith of gross negligence." However, he also declined to grant Wilson a summary judgment at that time.

Wilson led the Raiders to a 53-64 record and two appearances in the NAIA Division II national tournament in his four years at SOU.

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