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Former USU football player sues school

A former Utah State University football player says the school owes him more than $20,000 for failing to honor the terms of his athletic contract.

According to a lawsuit filed in 3rd District Court, Brandon Bowyer signed a contract with the university Feb. 3, 1999, to play football during the 2000-01 academic year. The terms of the contract also required Bowyer to attend USU as a redshirt player and practice with the team for the duration of the 1999-2000 year.

The contract covered Bowyer's tuition, fees, room, board and books for both years, the suit states.

Bowyer's father, also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, paid $10,461.38 for his son's redshirt year on the understanding that he would be reimbursed by the university.

However, when head football coach Dave Arslanian was fired in December 1999, the new coaching staff — which included newly hired head coach Mick Dennehy from the University of Montana — refused to honor the contract, the suit states.

According to the suit, Bowyer did not learn of the change until April 2000, about four months before the 2000-01 school year was scheduled to begin.

Bowyer is asking for nearly $21,000 to cover the costs of both academic years, unspecified damages, and attorneys' fees and court costs.

John DeVilbiss, USU's public relations director, said Bowyer's contract was terminated because he "failed to live up to the terms of his scholarship agreement." He would not elaborate on specific items Bowyer allegedly violated.

Arslanian also sued USU for breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, negligent hiring, failure to properly supervise, and fraud and fraudulent omission. Arslanian was fired Dec. 2, 1999, only two years into his four-year contract. The two parties settled out of court in January for $183,000.