In some relationships there comes a moment where one party says something that takes things to the point of no return. Former Central Florida defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro and current head coach George O'Leary have reached that point, and then flown 10 miles past it.
In a suit filed Friday, Ferraro accuses O'Leary of incredibly racist remarks and creating a work environment "permeated by bullying, threatening behavior, and repeated discriminatory epithets by O'Leary."
Ferraro accuses O'Leary of telling his staff, according a copy of the suit obtained by USA Today:
Ferraro also accuses O'Leary of calling a "Guinea." (Confession: I had no idea "Guinea" was a derogatory term, or even a term at all.)
"No longer will I put up with your constant verbal abuse of both our coaching and support staff," Ferraro wrote to O'Leary in an email CC'ed to the rest of the staff. "Threatening coaches on a regular basis with their jobs and racial slurs mixed in to make a point is wrong."
At the basis of all of this, as with all lawsuits, is money.
Ferraro was named the Knights' defensive coordinator in December, shortly before their 52-42 defeat of Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl (he did not coach the game), but then left the staff on March 5. (Tyson Summers, hired in January, was then promoted to defensive coordinator.) Ferrero believes he was fired without cause and is owed $15,000 in salary. UCF believes he resigned, and thus is owed nothing.
"UCF immediately investigated the allegations Mr. Ferraro made when he abruptly abandoned his job," UCF vice president for communications and marketing Grant Heston emailed USA Today. "The university's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office found the allegations to be untrue.
"None of the individuals alleged to have been the subject of, or to have overheard, these supposed statements corroborated Mr. Ferraro's claims. In fact, until seeking compensation after abandoning his job, it does not appear he ever discussed this with anyone at UCF."
Translation: "Dude made the entire thing up."
This is the type of suit that had better be true, otherwise Ferraro has damned his former boss to a lifetime of search returns pairing "O'Leary" with "racist", all in the name of a money grab. In the always-online culture we live in, that's (allegedly) one of the sorriest stunts a person can pull.