Originally created 12/15/00

Bayno, UNLV may be court bound



LAS VEGAS - Fired UNLV basketball coach Bill Bayno isn't going quietly.

An attorney for Bayno said the coach could go to court to try and clear his name and force the university to pay him for the final two-plus years remaining on his contract.

"All options are open," attorney Steve Owens said.

Bayno is upset that the university pinned him with all the blame on the NCAA probation handed down Tuesday, and likely will challenge UNLV's assertion that the NCAA violations were his fault.

"I wasn't charged with anything," Bayno told The Associated Press after being fired. "The NCAA cleared me of wrongdoing."

Bayno was fired after the NCAA gave UNLV four years' probation and a one-year postseason tournament ban for violations stemming from the recruitment of Lamar Odom in 1996 and 1997.

Bayno's friend, dentist David Chapman, was accused by the NCAA of giving Odom $5,600 in monthly payments when he came to Las Vegas before enrolling at UNLV. Bayno has said he was not aware of the payments and would have turned Chapman into the NCAA if he had known.

A clause in Bayno's contract says the university does not have to pay him if he intentionally violated NCAA rules. He made $136,500 in base salary, and about $600,000 overall.

UNLV has offered to give him another job in the athletic department until his contract expires, and Owens said he met with UNLV officials Wednesday to discuss alternatives.

Owens, though, claims it was the university, and not Bayno, which was mentioned prominently in the NCAA infraction report, and that his client was wrongfully terminated.

"If you read the report, nowhere does it say coach Bayno failed to maintain control over the basketball program, but that the university failed to monitor the activities of the boosters," he said.

UNLV president Carol Harter scoffed at that claim at a Tuesday press conference, saying the coach was responsible for the program. She said she could not be around the gym watching Bayno's activities on a regular basis.