Scholarship "Sack" Suit

August 20, 2008

A vindictive Hofstra University football coach was out of bounds when he stripped an injured player of his scholarship, according to a lawsuit.

Coach David Cohen told sophomore cornerback Jabaris Wesley, 20, that his free ride was a "waste of money," then revoked his scholarship over "minor" infractions, like being 15 minutes late for practice, the suit says.

Bryan Swerling, Wesley's lawyer, claimed Cohen was just looking for an excuse to get rid of the defensive back who had suffered an offseason chest injury while in training.

"He was an up-andcoming football player and a promising young man," said Swerling.

"As a result of a medical injury, the coach took away his scholarship and his chance to have a college education" at the Hempstead, LI, school.

According to Swerling, other players with far worse misconduct - including run-ins with the police - got to keep their scholarships.

Hofstra said it had the right to sack Wesley.

"Mr. Wesley was treated the same as any other student and there is no basis for his suit," said school spokeswoman Melissa Connolly.

Cohen was sued earlier this year by a female assistant athletic manager who claimed his players sexually harassed her. That case is still pending.