St. John’s basketball: Mike Anderson suing after being fired

St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Former St. John’s basketball head coach Mike Anderson is suing the school after his firing. 

Just ten days after the St. John’s basketball program fired head coach Mike Anderson, the 63-year old has fired back.

According to ESPN, Anderson will be filing an arbitration lawsuit against St. John’s after the school fired him for cause on March 10, one day after the Red Storm’s season officially came to an end.

The termination letter, initially obtained by ESPN, said Anderson was fired for “failure to create and support an environment that strongly encourages student-athletes who are in the men’s basketball program to meet all university academic requirements.”

Mike Anderson would have been owed $11 million if not fired for cause, but instead will only receive approximately half of that amount, according to a source close to the situation.

ALSO READ: St. John’s cannot complete comeback against North Carolina

Anderson, who denies the allegations, told ESPN, “I vehemently disagree with the university’s decision to terminate my contract for cause. The for cause accusation is wholly without merit and I will be aggressively defending my contractual rights through an arbitration process.”

The Red Storm did not make any postseason tournaments under the four years in which Anderson was the coach.

Analyzing St. John’s basketball recent issues

St. John’s has dealt with disciplinary issues throughout the tenure of Mike Anderson, but most notably last year in which Illinois transfer Andre Curbelo was suspended twice in the season.

Curbelo was initially suspended for one game on January 3 for ‘not adhering to team standards’ and was spotted watching the game, in a disguise, in the crowd at Carnesecca Arena and then appeared in the postgame press conference room following the Red Storm loss.

Andre Curbelo was also suspended for three games in February due to a ‘coach’s decision’.

ALSO READ: St. John’s basketball eyeing Rick Pitino as next head coach

In the final game of the suspension, a home game on February 18 against Creighton, Curbelo came into the media room minutes before tipoff and said he did not know why he wasn’t playing when asked.

Rafael Pinzon, the high school teammate of Curbelo, did not play the final six games of the season as he served an indefinite suspension for ‘not meeting team standards’.

Pinzon was not with the team, during home or road games, during his suspension.

The program has not seen a player enter the transfer portal since the season ended as St. John’s has been heavily pursuing Iona head coach, and Naismith Hall of Famer, Rick Pitino to be the program’s next head coach.

Next. Jayla Everett game-winner sinks Purdue in First Four. dark