Justices deny transfer in defamation suit against Noblesville High School

A defamation suit brought against Noblesville Schools by a former high school basketball coach will continue after the Indiana Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The state’s high court denied transfer to the case of David McCollough v. Noblesville Schools and Jeff Bryant, 29A02-1512-CT-2181, last week, with all justices concurring. David McCollough, the former boys’ basketball coach at Noblesville High School, brought a defamation suit against the high school and its principal, Jeff Bryant, after his contract was not renewed when it expired in March 2014.

Two months before the contract expired, McCollough allegedly threw a basketball at a player during practice after the player forcefully threw the ball at the coach during a drill. McCollough consistently denied that the ball actually hit the player, but the school sent out a press release stating that McCollough admitted to striking the student with the ball and had apologized for his actions. That press release, McCollough claimed, prohibited him from getting one of the 30 coaching jobs he applied for after the fact.

In a November opinion, the Indiana Court of Appeals allowed McCollough’s defamation suit against the school to continue, holding that the common interest privilege could not protect the high school from the litigation.

The justices did not grant any transfer petitions last week but instead denied transfer to 24 cases. The full list of transfer decisions can be read here.

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