Former Phoenix Suns star Dan Majerle is striking back at Grand Canyon University after the school fired him in March following his seventh season as the school's basketball coach. Majerle is suing for the money he is owed under his contract, his attorney told the Arizona Republic.
The lawsuit alleges in part that Grand Canyon has waged a "campaign to disparage Majerle as part of its effort to avoid its severance obligation" and is creating "false and pretextual reasons" for Majerle's firing, according to the report.
Grand Canyon released a statement to media outlets Tuesday saying the university is "prepared to defend itself and its decision if necessary should Coach Majerle decide to continue with litigation." The statement said the school learned of Majerle's lawsuit through media reports.
Majerle compiled a 136-89 and had a stretch of four straight 20-win seasons at GCU. But the Antelopes struggled to a 13-17 record this past season after being picked to finish second in the WAC by the league's coaches in a preseason poll. The university replaced Majerle with former Valparaiso and Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew.
A three-time NBA All-Star, Majerle played seven of his 14 NBA seasons with the Suns and spent 2008-13 as a Suns assistant before taking the Grand Canyon job. Grand Canyon only become eligible for the WAC and NCAA Tournaments in 2018 as it completed its transition from Division II to Division I. It made the WAC Tournament final in 2018 and 2019, coming with a win of receiving a bid to the NCAA Tournament.