Eustachy still deciding on how to keep his job

Sunday, May 4, 2003

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Larry Eustachy, recently suspended by Iowa State for his behavior at college parties and slapped with a one-game suspension by the NCAA for rules violations, is deciding what approach to take in the fight to keep his job.

Eustachy's attorney, Doug Gross, said the coach has until close of business Monday to choose whether he will appeal the university's decision. Gross said Saturday he was meeting with Eustachy to "evaluate the issues the university has raised."

"He's indicated publicly, and told me privately as well, that he wants to fight for his job," said Gross, a former candidate for Iowa governor.

ISU athletic director Bruce Van De Velde recommended last week that Eustachy be fired following newspaper reports that he drank and partied with college students after games in Columbia, Mo., and Manhattan, Kan.

Photos from the Columbia party show Eustachy kissing young women and being kissed by them on the cheek. Eustachy disclosed this past week that he is an alcoholic and is seeking treatment.

On Friday, the university announced that the NCAA had found Iowa State guilty of secondary rules violations because Eustachy twice paid players for making free throws. The university was ordered to suspend Eustachy for one game.

Van De Velde said those violations had nothing to do with his recommendation to fire Eustachy.

Iowa State had reported the violations to the NCAA and won't appeal the ruling, said associate athletic director Bill Smith, the university's compliance coordinator.

Iowa State's image has taken a beating over Eustachy's conduct -- but the university will recover, Van De Velde said Saturday.

"Worse things have happened to basketball programs or football programs before. We have a great core group of fans, we have a great administration, we have support from our alumni who know we're trying to do the right thing for this institution, for the entire situation," he said.

The university reported the violations to the NCAA and sent the organization a report of its own investigation on March 27. In that report, the university imposed its own penalties, including a letter of reprimand to Eustachy and a salary freeze.

Eustachy would lose about $8,000 because of the sanctions, Iowa State said. He is paid about $1.1 million a year.

Eustachy is 101-59 in five seasons at Iowa State, including 17-14 last season. He guided Iowa State to Big 12 championships in 2000 and 2001 and was the AP national coach of the year in 2000.

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