White coach's reverse-discrimination suit ends

ATLANTA -- A white football coach's lawsuit claiming he was fired by a black college that made national headlines has ended quietly.
The federal court where lawyers for Robby Wells sued Savannah State University dismissed it without fanfare. Records at the U.S. District Court of Northern Georgia show that that he and the state will each have to pay their own expenses.
He and the school are holding a joint press conference Monday at Tiger Arena to give his side of it, according to one of his attorneys, Jay Rollins.
"I really can't discuss it until after the press conference," Rollins said, declining to provide any details of a settlement.
Wells notched the first winning season for Savannah State in years, and he charged he was fired in January, 2010, because his recruiting of white players upset alumni and administrators of the mostly black college. The school has said all along he was let go for sloppy records and failing to follow instructions.
After Wells filed suit in May, 2010, the two sides traded thousands of pages of documents, even agreeing to keep personnel and student files confidential unless they were introduced in court. Then in July of this year, the two sides told Judge Linda Walker they wanted to try third-party arbitration. 
At the same time, a rumor around Savannah said Wells had won an out-of-court settlement from the state, but his other attorney, Debra Schwartz, tried to tamp it down.
"I don't know where that came from," she said then. "I am not going to comment on where we might be privately with the parties." 
On Sept. 2, eight hours of closed-door negotiating in Gainesville, Ga., led to an agreement to call off the lawsuit. The judge dismissed it and closed the door on any future suits on the matter.
The Attorney General's Office defended the University System of Georgia in the case since it is the parent organization over Savannah State. The spokeswoman at that office directed all press inquiries to the college, but officials there only issued a one-line statement announcing the noon press conference.
Wells also did not return a message left on his cell phone requesting a comment.



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