Sophomore player, father file fraud, breach of contract suit
Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Sophomore women's soccer player, Emily Hairston and her father James Hairston have filed a lawsuit against both SMU and the Mustangs women's soccer coach, Brent Erwin claiming fraud and breach of contract.
Hairston claims that Erwin began recruiting her when she was a sophomore at Highland Park High School. According to CBS 11 TV report, Erwin supposedly promised Hairston a full-ride scholarship covering the costs of tuition and housing if she attended SMU.
In addition to financial aid and scholarships, Hairston was asked to help recruit members of her club soccer team.
In high school as a defensive player, Hairston was an all-district honoree in 2006 and 2007 and received an honorable mention player of the week nominee her freshman year from The Dallas Morning News.
Hairston began playing for the Mustangs in the fall of 2009. After three weeks of classes, Hairston was informed that she owed $25,000 to cover first-semester tuition costs.
"I was cheated," Hairston told CBS 11, who chose to play for SMU over other colleges.
SMU officials reportedly agreed to pay Hairston approximately $17,000 towards her first semester, but made her pay for the remainder of the year.
During the 2009 season Hairston played in 13 games and played a season-high of 85 minutes against Portland.
Hairston, who is still currently enrolled at SMU, filed a lawsuit against the school and Erwin on May 22 demanding that she be paid for the cost of attending the university, plus damages.
"I just want my scholarship. I just want my school paid for like I was promised," she told CBS 11.
According the NCAA rules, coaches are prohibited from asking prospective athletes to help recruit team members. However, any verbal agreements made in regards to athletic scholarships between coaches and prospective athletes are non-binding.
Erwin became the Mustangs women's head soccer coach in January 2007. He is about to start his third season.
In a prepared statement, SMU officials said, "The claims are incorrect, but because the matter is in litigation, we will reserve our comments for the appropriate legal venue. We look forward to furnishing information through proper court procedures."