Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner files defamation lawsuit against two accusers

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner has filed a civil suit in Superior Court in the State of Arizona alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting and injurious falsehoods against Ron Bell and Jennifer Pendley, Pastner's attorneys told CBS Sports on Friday.

"Ronald Bell and Jennifer Pendley have threatened Josh and his family on numerous occasions, falsely alleging that Josh was aware of NCAA violations and in violation of NCAA rules and, when the threat of exposing these false NCAA violations did not result in a monetary payout for Mr. Bell and Ms. Pendley, they moved on, more incredulously, to falsely claim that Josh had assaulted Ms.
Pendley on multiple occasions," read a statement from attorneys Scott Palumbo and Scott Tompsett. "Their release of information that they knew was materially false, inaccurate and misleading, has done great harm. Their allegations are fabricated and false."

Bell and Pendley told CBS Sports in November that they provided extra benefits to Georgia Tech players Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson, which was proven true by multiple receipts and confirmed by the NCAA. The result was a six-game suspension for Okogie and three-game suspension for Jackson. Bell also claimed, at the time, that Pastner was aware of the violations. He had no proof of that, however, which was noted in the initial report. Pastner, at the time, declined multiple opportunities to address the specific allegations before releasing the following statement: "As I have throughout my career, I remain committed to following NCAA rules. Any allegations that NCAA rules weren't followed will be investigated thoroughly by our compliance department while I focus on coaching my team."

Bell subsequently spoke to the NCAA, at which point Pastner's attorneys claim he and Pendley both told investigators that Pastner "assaulted Ms. Pendley." Pastner emphatically denied that allegation, reported it to law enforcement officials and filed the lawsuit.

"I am disgusted and devastated by the actions of two individuals to whom I showed compassion," Pastner said. "My family and I are victims of fraud and extortion and the extent to which these individuals have gone to harm us is truly unfathomable. I absolutely and unequivocally never assaulted or harassed Ms. Pendley, and I am truly sickened by these false claims."

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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