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Jones v. Alcorn State University

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 27, 2013

Ernest T. JONES, Appellant
v.
ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY; Darren J. Hamilton, Ph.D.; George E. Ross, Ph.D.; and The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, Appellees.

Page 449

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 450

Wayne E. Ferrell Jr., Paul Anderson Koerber, Jackson, attorneys for appellant.

Alan M. Purdie, Grenada, Christopher Hailey Corkern, Ridgeland, attorney for appellees.

Before IRVING, P.J., BARNES and MAXWELL, JJ.

IRVING, P.J.

¶ 1. On February 20, 2009, Ernest T. Jones filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Claiborne County Circuit Court, contesting the findings of the Alcorn State University (ASU) Grievance Committee (Committee) that resulted in his termination as ASU's head football coach. The circuit court dismissed Jones's petition. Feeling aggrieved, Jones appeals and argues that the circuit court (1) misapplied the law regarding the constitutional and statutory violations committed by ASU, Dr. Darren J. Hamilton, Dr. George E. Ross, and the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning of the State of Mississippi (Board) in wrongfully violating his employment contract; (2) erred in failing to address Jones's property interest in his employment; and (3) erred in failing to address the arbitrary and capricious manner in which ASU violated his employment contract.

¶ 2. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶ 3. On August 11, 2008, Jones entered into an employment contract with the Board. The contract reads, in pertinent part:

The Employee is hereby employed as Head Football Coach and Instructor ... at [ASU] ... for the period beginning January 2, 2008[,] and ending on December 31, 2011, at and for the sum of $140,000, payable in 12 monthly installments starting at the close of the months of January 2008 through December 2011, inclusive.

This employment contract is subject to the following terms and conditions:

1. The laws of the State of Mississippi and policies and by-laws of the Board....
3. The Board shall have the authority to terminate this contract at any time for ...

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