Cornell suing ex-coach, says he owes school over $100,000

Austin was 11-19 at Cornell and resigned his coaching post with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats earlier in August. (Getty Images)

Cornell says former coach Kent Austin owes the university over $100,000 because he left for a job in the Canadian Football League before his contract was up.

Per the provisions of Austin’s five-year deal with Cornell that he signed before the 2010 season, he would owe the school money if he left before the conclusion of his contract. He joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL before the 2013 season as the team’s head coach and general manager, triggering the $100,000 provision.

According to the Cornell Sun, Austin and the school agreed he would pay the six-figure sum after he sold his house in Cayuga Heights, New York.

Austin hadn’t paid the money to the school as of 2015 and communication started to get testy. The school wanted its money while Austin said he needed to sell the house to pay the contract provision.

Fast-forward to Tuesday, when the school filed suit, asking for the $100,000 and nine percent interest, according to the Sun, which also reported that Austin sold the house in 2016. And in some interesting circumstances. From the Sun:

Austin ultimately broke even on the Cayuga Heights house, selling it in April 2016 for the same price he paid — $630,000 — although the sale raises more questions than answers.

The buyer, listed on the deed as HTCFC, Inc., appears to be a parent company for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats — Austin’s employer. The incorporation is a North Carolina business corporation formed in 2003 whose president is Robert Young, owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, according to documents filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State.

Less than eight months after making the purchase, HTCFC sold the Cayuga Heights property at a loss of $170,000 to a man from West Palm Beach, Florida, deeds show.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the same team that briefly employed former Baylor coach Art Briles earlier this week. Austin resigned his post as the team’s head coach in August and hired former SMU and Hawaii coach June Jones as his coaching replacement.

The team announced Briles had been hired as an offensive assistant on Monday, though it said later that day through a joint statement by Young and the CFL that Briles would not be joining the team and that it made a “large and serious mistake.”

Austin was the offensive coordinator at Mississippi for three seasons before he became Cornell’s head coach. In three seasons with the school he was 11-19 overall and 6-15 in the Ivy League. Thanks to an 0-8 start to the 2017 CFL season, his CFL coaching record stands at 48-50.


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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!