By MATTHEW STEVENS
The lawyer for the family of Forrest Moore claimed he currently has more facts than what’s disclosed in the 17-page lawsuit against Mississippi State and head baseball coach John Cohen issued last week, but denied that NCAA investigators had been contacted by his clients.
J. Douglas Foster, an Oxford attorney with the firm Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh, told Starkville Daily News Monday that he was “forced” to publically detail “more than even he would’ve preferred” in the initial suit filed in Oktibbeha County Circuit court on May 11 due to a statute of limitations on some of the claims made in the civil claim filed on behalf of former MSU pitcher Forrest Moore.
“I actually put in the initial claim more facts than what’s typically presented at first,” Foster said. “The date of the filing had nothing to do with Ole Miss being the opponent that weekend but I was trying to meet a deadline to get these claims on record.”
Foster also claimed in the phone conversation Monday that he sent written notification nearly three weeks ago via registered mail to Mississippi State University president Mark Keenum that a civil action against the school would be coming from his office.
The Moore complaint filed last week and Foster’s comments this week represent only one side of this unfolding legal argument. Last week, the university and Cohen declined comment and referred inquiries to the university’s general counsel, who also declined comment.
Representatives for Keenum and athletics director Scott Stricklin declined comment Monday when asked if they’d received such notification. Foster said he holds in his records a receipt that the notice was signed for on April 28 and according to state law, MSU has 90 days to respond.
Foster also confirmed Cohen received the 17-page claim at Swayze Field in Oxford prior to Thursday night’s contest that Mississippi State won 7-6, as previously reported in SDN.
No date for an initial hearing on the case has been set and Foster said he doesn’t anticipate this case seeing a court room “for quite some time”.
“That won’t begin to happen until one of the parties files a motion and a judge needs to rule on that long before we go to a trial,” Foster said.
Foster also said that neither he nor was he aware of his client being contacted by NCAA officials or investigators in regards to the alleged violations laid out in the written statement of facts.
“I know I haven’t heard from the NCAA and I obviously keep in touch with the Moore family on a pretty regular basis so if they were contacted – I would know about it,” Foster said.
Moore’s complaints allege Cohen initiated workout routines longer than the allowed amount of practice hours in the offseason and in order to cover up the violation prohibited several former players including Moore from filing the required time limit application required by the NCAA to track such behavior of programs.
In additional NCAA violations allegations, Moore claims he was required to throw more pitches than he should have allowed to be engage in during preparation for the 2009 season and in order to cover up that fact, Cohen had players sign and uncompleted practice time sheet form that would later be filled out later by a person different than who signed it. It is in these statement of facts that began the basis of the reason for Moore’s assertion to Cohen being responsible for the deterioration of his pitching arm.
In the suit, Moore also claims he was not provided a hearing on the matter and if true also violates an NCAA rule.
“Understand that this claim was filed less than a week ago so I really didn’t anticipate hearing from the NCAA about it this quickly,” Foster said.