This looks like it has the potential to be one big, ugly lawsuit.
Why was Vassar’s athletic scholarship revoked? The lawsuit quoted a letter purportedly from Northwestern’s deputy general counsel that said Vassar breached his July 2015 “contract” because he worked fewer than 8 hours per week and submitted fraudulent timecards to the athletic department.
Vassar appealed the decision to Northwestern’s Athletic Aid Appeals Committee. At the hearing, Northwestern submitted what it claimed to be Vassar’s fake timecards, even though somebody else’s name was crossed out on one timecard and Vassar’s first name was misspelled on another. The lawsuit showed copies of the timecards, including one that misspelled the player’s name as “Johnie.”
“One timecard said he worked on March 26, but we showed credit card payments that he made purchases in California that day while there for his father’s funeral,” Cherise said. “They knew then they had no case.”
Vassar won his appeal on May 4, 2016. The appeals committee wrote that Northwestern’s athletic department “has not provided sufficient information for a removal of your athletics scholarship,” and Vassar didn’t come to Northwestern “with the expectation that you would be doing maintenance work.” [Emphasis added.]
Given the history, that’s spectacularly tone deaf, Northwestern. Brilliantly played.
Cherise said the NCAA, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, told her it’s never been in a situation quite like this with an athlete in such limbo.
For once, I don’t blame Stacey Osburn for keeping quiet.