Lane Kiffin, FAU sued in Shelby County

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

A former wide receiver and graduate assistant coach with The University of Alabama, Antonio Carter, has filed a fraud lawsuit against former Alabama offensive coordinator and current Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin.

Carter filed the lawsuit in Shelby County, where he resided at the time of the alleged wrongdoing.

The complaint, which was filed on Tuesday, March 21, explains that Carter was treated with “torturous conduct” because Kiffin and Florida Atlantic allegedly hired him to recruit a player that he and his family had a friendship with.

“Defendants offered Plaintiff Antonio Carter a one-year employment position as assistant wide receivers coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach just one week before National Signing Day, Feb. 1, 2017,” read the lawsuit. “Such offer was made without any contingencies. The Plaintiff accepted the offer and Lane Kiffin personally ratified it.”

According to the complaint, immediately upon his hiring, Kiffin tasked Carter with the recruitment of a coveted prospect that was not mentioned by name. Carter carried out that task and went on to recruit two other players for the FAU football program.

The lawsuit then goes on to say that immediately following National Signing Day, after all three of those recruits had submitted their letters of intent, Kiffin and FAU revoked Carter’s employment.

Carter also said in the complaint that a series of text messages were sent between the two parties before he made the move to campus.

Kiffin allegedly texted Carter asking why he wasn’t on campus yet. Carter went on to reply saying he was waiting on the paperwork to come through but he could be there as soon as possible. Kiffin reassured Carter that he was hired and the deal was “done.”

Eventually Carter made the trip down to Boca Raton where he and the coaching staff immediately talked about the strategy to recruit the before-mentioned coveted prospect.

The day after National Signing Day, Carter allegedly received an email from FAU’s Human Resources department about concerns about his background check including credit history, previous minor criminal charges/traffic violations and his driver’s license history.

Carter claimed to have immediately sent a detailed response to the alleged concerns offering to secure all documentation necessary to verify that they were unwarranted.

After heading back to Birmingham on Feb. 3 to finalize the family’s move to Boca Raton with his wife, Carter was informed he would not be hired due to two prior minor misdemeanor criminal charges.

In the lawsuit, Carter claimed that he reached out by phone to both Kiffin and athletic director Patrick Chun, and even at one point went back down to meet with Chun, who refused to take the meeting after Carter waited outside his office for several hours.

Carter was a three-year starter for Alabama before a leg injury ended his career in 2001. He finished his career with 106 receptions for 1,294 yards before he decided to get into coaching. He has since worked as a grad assistant at Alabama and The University of Texas at El Paso, a coordinator for Appalachian State, a wide receivers coach at Eastern Michigan and Samford, and acquired an internship with the Indianapolis Colts.