The Payne County judge in the Oklahoma State case against Texas assistant coach Joe Wickline denied a summary judgement request and the case will go to trial in March, a source familiar with the case told the American-Statesman.
“There are genuine issues of material fact that justify a trial,” Judge Stephen Kistler wrote in a court document posted Monday. “Neither party is entitled to judgement as a matter of law.”
Both sides were waiting to see how Kistler would rule in the matter. The judge could have ruled in favor of Oklahoma State officials, who believe that Wickline made only a lateral move to come to Texas.
Or, the judge could have ruled in Wickline’s favor. Wickline and his attorneys have insisted that Wickline did call plays for the Longhorns last season, as required by his previous OSU contract.
OSU officials are seeking almost $600,000 in liquidated damages, as outlined in Wickline’s contract with his previous employer.
Kistler had already scheduled a four-day trial in early March.
Interim Texas athletic director Mike Perrin has been asked numerous times since taking over whether he would step in and negotiate a settlement with OSU’s Mike Holder. Perrin has insisted he only knew about the case from “what I read in the newspaper.” Perrin also declined to criticize the legal strategy.
“I appreciate y’all asking me that,” Perrin said before the UT Men’s Hall of Honor banquet last Friday. “I did Google it after somebody asked me, and what came up was the same type of stuff.”
Former Texas AD Steve Patterson always maintained this was a case between Wickline and OSU. The University of Texas is not named a party in the suit, and the school is not legally required to do anything.
However, the Wickline case has brought months of bad publicity for the UT program. That would only intensity during a trial in Stillwater, Okla., home of the Cowboys.
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