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Defamation lawsuit filed by Georgia Tech basketball coach

Georgia Tech's basketball coach, Josh Pastner, has filed a defamation lawsuit. It is in response to claims that he sexually assaulted a friend's girlfriend and that he helped commit recruiting violations as far away as Arizona.

The coach denied all of those allegations, saying that they are completely contrived. His lawsuit is based on the fact that the accusations alone could harm his name in the public eye, something that is very important in the college coaching profession -- where a coach's reputation is strongly linked to the school at which he or she coaches.

The coach also accused his friend and that man's girlfriend of trying to blackmail him and extort him for financial gain.

The two have a long relationship that includes helping each other through tough times, including addiction to medications and cancer. They have worked together in the past for recruiting purposes.

Recruiting violations did occur, and two players were suspended as a result. It appears that they went to Arizona, where the coach's friend purchased clothes and food for both of them. The total value of the purchases was roughly $1,275.

The friend claims the coach encouraged the trip and knew the violations were happening at the time. The school, however, says the coach was completely unaware for months and acted quickly to report the incident as soon as it came to his attention.

Lawsuits like this can grow very complicated, and the financial ramifications are serious -- especially when the outcome of the case could have an impact on a person's career. It's very important for people to know exactly what legal options they have.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Tech basketball coach files defamation suit," Ken Sugiura, Jan. 13, 2018

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