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Mike Anderson seeking $45.6M from St. John's after firing

Sarah Stier / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Former St. John's head coach Mike Anderson is asking for $45.6 million from the school, claiming that the Red Storm fired him to avoid paying his buyout and use the money toward hiring Rick Pitino, according to arbitration documents obtained by ESPN's Myron Medcalf.

The 2021 Big East Coach of the Year had $11.4 million remaining on his contract and is seeking an additional $34.2 million for "punitive" damages, per Anderson's lawyer.

Anderson says St. John's offered him a buyout below $11.4 million. The school fired him for cause in March and subsequently hired Pitino as his successor just over a week later. The Hall of Famer reportedly agreed to a six-year, $20-million deal with the Red Storm.

St. John's denies the claims of its former bench boss.

"We dispute the allegations being reported in the media and will vigorously defend those claims in arbitration," the school said in a statement obtained by Medcalf.

Anderson went 68-56 during his four-year tenure. Despite never registering a sub-.500 record, the Red Storm failed to make the NCAA Tournament.

The 63-year-old's previous stops include UAB, Missouri, and Arkansas. He has never produced a losing campaign over 21 seasons as a head coach.

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