LSU will have to pay the remaining part of a contract to a former assistant coach because of an improper firing, a judge has ruled.

The Advocate reported that James Cregg, who was the offensive line coach at LSU from 2018-20, that LSU must pay Cregg $492,945 after he was accused of violating NCAA rules. It’s the remaining part of his contract with the school.

State Judge Wilson Fields made the order Thursday morning, according to court minutes. LSU sought to terminate that contract when it fired Cregg in 2021; officials accused him of holding in-person meetings with recruits during a period when the NCAA’s COVID-19 protocols banned such contact.

An LSU spokesman said the university plans to appeal the ruling.

“We had a contractual right and obligation to terminate this coach’s contract,” spokesman Ernie Ballard said. “Unfortunately, the trial court did not see this the same way.”

Cregg sued LSU last year, and argued that the school and NCAA never determined he broke NCAA rules before he was fired.

Cregg acknowledged in his lawsuit that then-head football coach Ed Orgeron gave him a letter in June of 2021 outlining LSU’s intent to fire Cregg “for cause” because he admitted to an NCAA enforcement official in May to “visiting with and providing gear to a team prospect” during the dead period.

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