KSU fires its football coach

By MELISSA ARNOLD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Kentucky State University's head football coach Donald Smith was fired Wednesday after a month of suspension without pay.

But key officials involved in the matter, including the university's interim president and its legal counsel, steadfastly refuse to say why Smith was fired.

"I am not going to get into the matter of the cause (of his termination), because that is unnecessary," William Johnson, KSU's attorney told The State Journal today.

Johnson added, that it is "not a matter of great importance."

A KSU press release Wednesday stated "Kentucky State University announces that it is in the best interest of the University to terminate the employment of Donald Smith, men's head football coach."

There were no details.

Smith, 36, was suspended on Feb. 17 by KSU's interim President Bill Turner after information was brought to him by interim Athletic Director Curtis Campbell.

Turner said he made the decision to terminate Smith after much discussion.

"Early on I did talk to a group of people, who served more as an advisory group," Turner said.

On March 10 Turner met with Campbell; Donald Lyons, a former athletic director at KSU; Stephen Mason, executive assistant to the president; Smith and his lawyer Tom Miller and Johnson to discuss this matter.

"We all looked at this thing and under rules and regulations that govern the employment of people at (Smith's) level, it basically becomes a personnel matter," Turner told The State Journal today.

Turner declined to comment on the specifics of the investigation.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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