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Appellate Court Supports USC Suit

May 27, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A state appellate court has sided with the University of Southern California in a lawsuit filed by former assistant athletic director Marvin Cobb against the school 7 1/2 years ago.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling Tuesday that USC did not breach the contract of or racially discriminate against Cobb when it failed to promote him eight years ago.

Cobb charged in a lawsuit filed in November 1990 that he was denied a promised promotion by Mike McGee, then USC’s athletic director, in retaliation for his complaints about the school’s treatment of black athletes.

``The university is ecstatic about the court’s decision,″ USC attorney Todd Dickey said. ``We hope this puts an end to this very lengthy litigation.″

USC contended that Cobb, hired in 1986 and transferred out of the athletic department in 1991, was not promoted because his job performance did not warrant it.

A jury awarded Cobb a $2.1 million judgment on the breach-of-contract suit four years ago, but USC, represented by attorney Johnnie Cochran, challenged that ruling and the judge overturned the award a few months later.

The appellate court issued its ruling last week.

Cobb, a football and baseball player for USC in the mid-1970s, declined to comment Tuesday, but his attorney, Samuel Reece said, ``Although I disagree with the rulings so far, I must respect (the court’s) opinion’s about this case. This battle is not over.″

Reece said Cobb could request a review from the state Supreme Court, although he wouldn’t say whether that would happen.

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