Busy day for apologies in Mississippi and it was even two differet schools that got to do it.
((HT: Cincinnati Enquirer/Kimball Perry))
Even though former University of Cincinnati basketball coach Andy Kennedy pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct today and apologized to a cab driver he was accused of assaulting, one of the coach’s attorneys insists that doesn’t mean Kennedy hit anyone or used racial slurs.
“None of that was pleaded to today,” attorney William Posey said an hour after Kennedy pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of disorderly conduct. Kennedy had been charged with assault in the December 18 incident.
Kennedy, 41, now the University of Mississippi basketball coach, was in Cincinnati in December as his team participated in a basketball tournament.
At about 1 a.m. December 18, Kennedy was accused of leaving a Downtown bar and, with four co-workers, getting into a cab driven by Mohamed Moctar Jiddou.
Jiddou later told police when he told Kennedy five large men couldn’t fit into the cab, Kennedy punched him in the face and called him “sand n(word),” “Osama Bin Laden” and “Saddam Hussein.” Those claims were backed up by Michael Strother, a valet, who witnessed the incident.
Posey insists Kennedy’s conviction today doesn’t mean he hit or hurled racial slurs at Jiddou.
Mike Allen, Kennedy's lawyer in the criminal case, said the coach "vehemently denies" he struck or used racial slurs against Jiddou.
Kennedy pleaded guilty to a "verbal altercation which escalated into an" incident that didn't involve slurs or violence," Allen added.
"He did not strike Mr. Jiddou," Allen said.
Kennedy’s guilty pleas “has no impact” on the civil suits the coach filed against the cabbie and valet, Posey said.
“Make sure you separate out the criminal charges from” the civil suits, Posey said.
Kennedy was sentenced by Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Dwane Mallory to six months of probation, a $100 fine, court costs and to perform 40 hours of community service.
Kennedy refused comment except to say the University of Mississippi would release a statement later today.
But the attorneys for the cabbie and valet say the conviction is strong evidence they will use in the civil suits stemming from the incident.
Kennedy filed a civil suit against Jiddou and Strother after the incident, alleging their assertions that Kennedy punched Jiddou in the face and called him racial slurs defamed the coach. Kennedy’s wife joined in the suit, saying that national story was embarrassing and was ruining their marriage. Strother and Jiddou countersued.
The civil suits were on hold until Kennedy’s criminal case was resolved.
Here's the heavily-prepared text and apology given by Coach Kennedy, thanks to our friends at WDAM-TV...
And all this gives us another excuse to run the tape...