Andrew Giuliani, son of Rudy Giuliani, has gone to court to fight for his right to golf on teh Duke University team. He was recently thrown off the team with little notice or explanation by its coach, O.D. Vincent. The filing is based on a loose theory of contract, even though decisions of eligibility are generally viewed as matter of discretion for university staff.
If you recall, Rudy Giuliani attacked his opponents, particularly Fred Thompson, for being weak on tort reform and complained about frivolous lawsuits, for a video click here. He actively sought penalties for people who brought such lawsuit, including the adoption of the English rule forcing losers to pay the legal fees of the other party.
Andrew wants to be a pro-golfer and it does seem like this coach handled the matter poorly. The complaint says neither notice nor a reason was given. It cites some past objections that do seem quite minor, including allegations that the 22-year-old “flipped his putter a few feet to his golf bag;” “leaned on his driver and it broke;” and drove too rapidly out of the parking lot one day.
However, we are left with the question of whether there is a contractual obligation to only remove a player for only objectively reasonable grounds. Many judges would be concerned over a floodgate problem as well as the competency of courts to rule on such matters. A court-ordered Mulligan could invite endless litigation over team decisions by irate players.
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27 thoughts on “Rudy’s Son Demands a Mulligan: Andrew Giuliani Sues For Wrongful Dismissal From Duke Team”
“, my experience with college athletics has shown that coaching often is not a very glamorous job. Coaches are frequently holding their programs together with both hands and genuinely love the sport and the teams their involved with.”
Having played collegiately, albeit in the Dark Ages of the 1970’s, and having several friends who coach both so-called major and minor sports at universities in the area, I could not agree more. This fact compels them to be ruthlessly self-serving in their decision-making. In the major sports, the pressure is to win and that encourages the type of excesses we have seen from time to time. In the “minor” sports, the worst offenders are those coaches trying to “step stone” to a more prestigious positions since as we know what is “minor” to the University of Georgia, may not be “minor” to say Pepperdine University. Volleyball springs to mind. I do see some love of the game, but more often I see love of ambition. I am not casting aspersions, but I have no “Pollyannish” notions of either coaches or athletes.
In fact, if you re-read my comment, you’ll see I even addressed transitionary issues, like differences in curriculum, and varying academic requirements, etc.
I never suggested nor implied what you were responding to.
Your entire response to me 1L, is based on the false assumption that my premise was that he was barred from other participation in other schools, which it was not.
I am only addressing the monetary compensation due him for the school accepting monies, then failing to provide the service for which they accepted those monies.
A wrongful firing suit, is not based solely on whether or not the plaintiff can seek employment elsewhere. The only significant impact that would have is on the amount of the damages awarded assuming wrongful termination is demonstrated.
And since I never referred to such damages, but only compensation for the school, failing to honor its contractual agreement with Mr Giuliani, to provide him with a reasonable education according to the career path he has chosen.
I’m not being difficult here, I’m just pointing out your response is based on something I never stated, and is thus moot.
1, July 25, 2008 at 1:06 am
The coach has not expelled him from all athletic areas, only from those at Duke University. He is free to transfer
How does that change the fact the school owes him at a minimum tuition reimbursement?
The coach has not expelled him from all athletic areas, only from those at Duke University. He is free to transfer, and given the fact that he was kicked off the team (rather than leaving of his own free will, which it should be noted he could do at any time) the NCAA requirement that he sit out a year before competing for another school would be waived. So he has literally hundreds of other places in which to compete if he wants to do it while simultaneously studying at a university. Furthermore, golf unlike football or basketball, has a significant amateur circuit for people of his age, so he has plenty of opportunities to pursue his professional interests outside the “student-athlete” realm. Lastly, he’s welcome to turn pro now, and pursue his interests outside the cushy setting he’s no doubt accustomed to.
I obviously can’t speak to your experiences, but save for the most visible of college athletics (D1 Football and Basketball for the most part), my experience with college athletics has shown that coaching often is not a very glamorous job. Coaches are frequently holding their programs together with both hands and genuinely love the sport and the teams their involved with. Also, given that they’ve generally worked hard to recruit their players and they have limited resources with which to do this, its going to take a good amount for a coach to dismiss player who is or could potentially contribute to the team in any respect. In this case, Guiliani was the 12th best player on a 14 man roster that needed to be cut in half. Athletics, and especially golf, is a meritocracy. Players get cut from teams at all levels is (forgive me) “par for the course”.
“Coaches at this level generally have the best interests of the team in mind.”
In my experience, coaches at this level, with some notable exceptions, generally have the best interests of the coach at heart.
I’m no fan of Julie-Annie, by any means, but per the limited information provided herin, it does seem like there is at least sufficient cause for reasonable doubt as to his motives, not to mention the school effectively breaching its contract with the student, to provide him with an education based on his chosen profession from among their official curriculum in exchange for monies paid by him, to them, for that education.
Considering Giuliani apparently intended on pursuing professional golf, and considering the coach, acting as an offical rep of the school, has expelled him from any sort of athletic area of study, how then can the school fulfill their obligations to provide this student with the education for they contracted with him to provide in exchange for monies they accepted from him?
At the very least it seems a tuition refund would be in order. Compelling the school to take him back into the program to me is unseemly, and unlikely, however they should not be permitted to take monies from him if they do not intend on providing the services to him for which they are accepting monies for. Additionally, it seems a loss to me for him to have to start over at a new school, as the loss of time, variances in course offerings and academic requirements and expectations, all constitute real loss, and to me seem to be worthy of some compensation.
Unless the school demonstrates a reasonable cause for this denial of the agreed upon educational services promised to the Giuliani when they took his money.
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