Mandatory meeting ordered to address student lawsuit

News Editor

A civil circuit judge has ordered a mandatory meeting between a Texas State basketball player and university officials by Sept. 23 to resolve a disagreement surrounding an athletic scholarship, according to the athlete’s father.

The meeting is being ordered by Texas Northern District Court Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn regarding an athletic scholarship of student athlete Basil Brown II, who filed a lawsuit against Texas State and the Board of Regents June 5, according to court documents.

“I think that (the meeting) is going to be pivotal because we all have to kind of work together to resolve this problem,” Basil Brown I, the athlete’s father, said.

Named in the suit are Regent Donna Williams, Chancellor Brian McCall, University President Denise Trauth, Financial Aid and Scholarships Director Christopher Murr, Athletic Director Larry Teis, Coach Daniel Kaspar, Assistant Coach Robert Flaska and Athletic Trainer Jason Karlic . The lawsuit addresses alleged unpaid medical bills and unrightfully reduced scholarship money, said Basil Brown I.

According to a formal complaint sent by Basil Brown II’s parents to Trauth, the athlete sustained an injury to his groin during a mandatory open gym event in 2012. Karlic allegedly told Basil Brown II he could have incurred the injury through a sexually transmitted infection. However, the athlete and his parents say the injury occurred during the open gym. Basil Brown I said his son’s athletic scholarship was later reduced after he was unable to continue playing basketball at Texas State.
While Kaspar is listed in the lawsuit, he was not employed at Texas State at the time of the alleged incident.

Athletic administrators, Murr and Mike Wintemute, spokesman for the Texas State University System, declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

“They tried to take his scholarship without giving him an appeal,” Basil Brown I said. “He was entitled to an appeal under Texas State rules and regulations, even under the Texas Constitution and even under the United States Constitution.”
Basil Brown II was awarded an initial full scholarship covering tuition, fees, room, board and books from August 2012 to May 2013 on June 6, 2012, according to a document provided by the family.

On June 17, 2013, Basil Brown II received an offer for an athletic scholarship covering room, board, books, fees and tuition for 12 hours in the fall and 10 in the spring according to documents provided by the family. He amended, signed and returned the agreement stating he would only agree to a “full, unencumbered athletic scholarship that is the same as all of the other full scholarship athletes on the men’s basketball team at Texas State University-San Marcos.”

 However, in a letter dated the same day, Basil Brown II was informed that he was awarded “an offer to the equivalent of a full athletic-related scholarship for academic year 2013-2014,” according to documents provided by the family. According to the letter signed by Murr, there was no need for a hearing prior to the scholarship committee determining whether or not the grant and aid would be renewed.

On July 3, the agreement was returned to Basil Brown II with the same offer as the June 17 contract with no amendments, according to documents supplied by the Brown family.

Texas State Health Center medical documents provided by the family indicate that on July 26, 2011, Basil Brown II was diagnosed with epididymitis, an inflammation most frequently caused by sexual transmitted infections, according to the Center for Disease Control. The next day, Basil Brown II was taken to the Central Texas Medical Center emergency room where he was tested and treated for epididymitis, according to medical records.

Basil Brown II underwent two surgeries after the doctors’ visits, according to insurance records provided by the family. Unpaid bills for both surgeries and visits to the health center and emergency room were submitted to the university for payment, they said.

Kelsey Solis, compliance administrator for Financial Aid and Scholarships, told Basil Brown I in an email the medical visits and bills he submitted were “not prompted or preapproved by anyone in the athletics department.” Solis said in the email Basil Brown II was only authorized to receive a $1,000 copay.

In the email, Solis said the athletic trainers determined the injury was not sustained while participating in athletic-related activities and would not be covered by Texas State’s secondary insurance.

Basil Brown I said his son maintains he is still a member of the men’s basketball team. The roster for the 2013-2014 team is not currently available on the Texas State Athletics webpage.

Basil Brown I said his son is currently enrolled in classes, which may be temporary depending on the status of his scholarship. There is currently no record of Basil Brown II in the online campus directory.

The NCAA is looking into the incident, but compliance officials said they could not comment on an ongoing investigation.

Odus Evbagharu, sports editor, contributed to this report.

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