The College of Charleston has asked an outside law firm to investigate the Cougars’ baseball program, the school confirmed Thursday.
“College officials will have no further comment until this review is complete,” the CofC statement said. “We appreciate Head Baseball Coach Chad Holbrook’s continued and full cooperation in this matter.”
The survey was first reported by the fitnews website.
An email obtained by The Post and Courier says Columbia’s law firm is Gignilliat, Savitz & Bettis, specializing in employment and labor law.
The email, from one of the firm’s attorneys, was sent to CofC baseball players as part of the investigation, a relative of one of last season’s players confirmed.
“I am an attorney hired by the College of Charleston to conduct a review of the school’s baseball program,” the email read. “I’d like to chat with you about your experience as a student-athlete.”
The email set July 1 as the deadline for players to respond.
Sources close to the program say much of the investigation stems from a team meeting early in the season as the Cougars struggled from a six-game, seven-game losing streak.
The team finished the season, Holbrook’s fifth, with an overall record of 37-20 and a 19-5 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association, good for a regular season championship.
The Cougars program is no stranger to such controversy.
In 2019, the College of Charleston settled a wrongful termination lawsuit with former baseball coach Matt Heath for $350,000.
The settlement ended nearly two years of legal wrangling between the College of Charleston and Heath over his dismissal by athletic director Matt Roberts.
Heath had three years left on his contract which would have paid him $450,000 when he was fired on June 23, 2017.
At the heart of the case was Heath’s claim that he was fired by Roberts so he could hire Holbrook, the former South Carolina baseball head coach and a close friend of Roberts’s dating from their days together in North Carolina.
Holbrook was hired as the Cougars’ baseball head coach in July 2017.
At the time, Roberts and the school countered that Heath had been fired for “just cause” for his alleged physical and verbal abuse of his players which created a “toxic environment” during the two seasons he was the head coach of the Cougars.
Heath denied the allegations and filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit in July 2017, just days after he was fired.
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