CANTON, Miss. (AP) — The NCAA and former Mississippi State University football coach Jackie Sherrill have settled a lawsuit in which Sherrill accused the college sports governing body of damaging his reputation.

Sherrill also said the NCAA hurt his future coaching opportunities by publicly naming him in allegations of recruitment violations in 2003.

He was Mississippi State's head coach from 1991 to 2003 and sued the NCAA in 2004.

Financial terms of the lawsuit settlement are confidential. The agreement was reached Wednesday in Madison County Circuit Court after jurors had already heard testimony about Mississippi State's recruiting practices under Sherrill.

"Rather than continuing what already has been a lengthy legal process, all parties have agreed to confidentially settle the claims in this case without admissions of liability or responsibility," the NCAA's chief legal officer, Donald Remy, said in a statement.

WLBT-TV reported that former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond testified Sherrill was diligent in following NCAA recruiting rules. Rutha Grindle, mother of former player Terrell Grindle, testified that her son's car was paid for by her family. The NCAA had alleged he received a car to play at Mississippi State.

Sherrill, 75, lives in Wimberley, Texas. The onetime Texas A&M coach said the conclusion to the case vindicates him.

"I'm relieved, especially after all this time," Sherrill said after the settlement.

The lead NCAA investigator of Sherrill, Rich Johanningmeier, had been pursuing his own legal action against Sherrill. The settlement requires Johanningmeier to drop that action, the Clarion Ledger reported.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.