Judge dismisses criminal charge against fired NCCU football coach

jalexander@newsobserver.comSeptember 30, 2013 

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Henry Frazier III

HARRY LYNCH — hlynch@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— A judge in a Wake County court dismissed a charge against former N.C. Central head football coach Henry Frazier III on Monday that led to him getting fired.

Frazier was charged in August with violating a domestic violence protective order his wife had taken out against him. Frazier said he was trying to get word to her that he was paying for a ticket on their car and that the incident was a misunderstanding.

“I am very happy,” Frazier’s mother, Bessie Harris, said of the ruling. “I haven’t spoken with him directly. He left a message on my answer machine, but I’m happy about that and I knew he wasn’t guilty anyway. But I can’t wait to hear it directly from my baby.”

Attorney Ralph Frasier represented Frazier in court.

“He intends now to concentrate on restoring his good name, raising his minor children and appealing to the Board of NCCU to set right the wrong that has been foisted upon him by them,” Frasier said in a press release.

It was Frazier’s second arrest in the past two years; he received a prayer for judgment for the first charge, and the university reinstated him after a suspension saying his legal matter has been resolved.

Frazier appealed his recent firing, which came three years into his five-year $225,500 contract and gave him no severance pay. He had $451,000 left on his contract, plus bonuses if he won a MEAC and/or National Championship. NCCU denied Frazier’s appeal last week.

In the appeal, Frazier’s national legal counsel Linda Kenny Baden argued that Frazier should have been allowed “due process” before being fired as it stated in his contract. In the appeal rejection letter, Chancellor Debra Saunders-White cited other reasons for firing him.

“Your current arrest, and blatant disregard for University directives are inconsistent with a position charged with modeling behaviors for students,” Saunders-White wrote in the letter to Frazier.

Saunders-White is in her first year as chancellor of NCCU.

NCCU spokeswoman Ayana Hernandez said Monday that the university stands by its decision to fire Frazier.

In a statement, Baden said Frazier’s legal team will take further appropriate action in accordance with the principles of due process, justice and fairness.

In two years, Frazier had taken the Eagles football team to a combined 8-14 record. The Eagles were 6-5 last year under Frazier and 2-9 the year before that in their first two years as a Division I program.

Alexander: 919-932-2008

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