Attorneys reprsenting San Diego State strength coach Dave Ohton in his whistle-blower protection lawsuit against the university have alleged that former Aztec coach Tom Craft, above, was drinking excessively in 2002, in one case before a game.
Craft, who was fired in 2005, removed Ohton as strength coach in 2003 because the coach was said to be unhappy with the team's speed. Ohton claims Craft was retaliating for the strength coach aiding in an audit of the athletic program in 2002. That audit led to the ouster of athletic director Rick Bay, two top administrators and an equipment manager.
But back to the juicy drinking allegation. Ohton's attorneys say booster Don Sutton corroborated Ohton's story, but university vice president Sally Roush covered it all up to protect Craft, then in his first year as coach.
Christopher Cato, an attorney representing San Diego State, said Ohton maliciously exaggerated allegations in regard to Craft's behavior before games at Idaho and New Mexico in 2002. Cato said Ohton originally stated the allegations stemmed from a "few boosters" who witnessed Craft.
"There was only one booster he spoke to and not the few who he had talked about seeing coach Craft being helped back to the hotel," Cato said.
Cato also said Sutton "was not at the Idaho game, but he believed he saw Craft drunk in the lobby before the New Mexico game."
The key words being "before the New Mexico game."
For the record, the Aztecs lost at Idaho, 48-38, and at New Mexico, 15-8. Craft is now offensive coordinator at Mt. San Antonio College and his son, Kevin, is a quarterback at UCLA.
A judge is expected to rule in the next couple of weeks if Ohton's case can proceed to trial.
Thanks to Mike.