Originally created 03/06/03

Georgia fires Jim Harrick Jr.



ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia fired assistant basketball coach Jim Harrick Jr. on Wednesday after he was accused of academic fraud and paying a former player's bills.

Athletic director Vince Dooley announced that Harrick's contract would not be renewed when it expires June 30. In the meantime, the son of head coach Jim Harrick remains suspended with pay.

Harrick Jr. was at Stegeman Coliseum on Tuesday night when the No. 25 Bulldogs defeated No. 3 Florida. He watched the game from a tunnel next to the Georgia bench and did not speak with the media.

Harrick Jr. was suspended by the school after allegations by former player Tony Cole, who accused the coach of paying off phone and hotel bills. Cole has a receipt from Western Union that says he received $300 from "Jim Harrick" to cover the phone charges.

Even more serious, Cole charged that he received an "A" for a coaching class taught by Harrick Jr., even though he never attended. Also, Cole alleged the coach did work for correspondence courses the player took before entering Georgia.

Dooley was traveling Wednesday and not immediately available for comment. He issued a statement merely saying Harrick Jr. served at the pleasure of the athletic director.

In a related development, the head of Georgia's Physical Education and Sports Studies department received a letter of reprimand. Harrick Jr. taught a course in the department known as "Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball."

Department head Paul G. Schempp was reprimanded by Arnett C. Mace Jr., interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

"The university's internal procedures were not followed in assigning faculty to the particular course which is the focus of the current investigation," Mace said. "Professor Schempp is officially reprimanded for allowing that to happen."

The letter of reprimand becomes a permanent part of Schempp's personnel file.

University president Michael Adams, who was instrumental in the hiring of the senior Harrick in 1999, issued a statement supporting the moves.

"I have been kept fully informed of the progress of the investigation and support the appropriate actions taken today by the athletic director and the provost," Adams said.