Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner filed a civil suit against two former associates Friday alleging fraud, extortion, defamation, and the intentional infliction of emotion distress, according to USA TODAY Sports' Dan Wolken.
Pastner's suit names Ron Bell, who's known Pastner since the coach was an assistant at Arizona, and Bell's girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley. Bell says Pastner was complicit in a scheme to violate collegiate rules by allowing Georgia Tech players Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie to receive extra benefits, such as shoes and airline tickets. Bell admits providing the benefits. He also told the NCAA that Pastner had sexually assaulted Pendley.
"My family and I are victims of fraud and extortion and the extent to which these individuals have gone to harm us is truly unfathomable," Pastner said in a statement. "I absolutely and unequivocally never assaulted or harassed Ms. Pendley and I am truly sickened by these false claims. Upon learning of the allegations, I immediately informed law enforcement and officials at Georgia Tech."
According to the lawsuit, Bell and Pastner had a falling-out due to a dispute between Bell and Pastner's administrative assistant. Shortly afterward, on Oct. 2, Pastner says Bell started threatening to expose information about NCAA violations.
Georgia Tech disclosed the improper benefits involving Jackson and Okogie and suspended both players, and Pastner maintains he had no knowledge of the violations.
In November, Bell allegedly called Pastner's agent and promised not to reveal anything incriminating about the coach to the school's attorneys if Bell was compensated for working for the program.
When the NCAA interviewed Bell about the violations in December, the lawsuit says he refused to discuss them and instead accused Pastner of sexually assaulting Pendley.
"We have shared with (law enforcement) the voluminous evidence of the varied extortion attempts and harassment, including phone calls, emails, text messages, and witness testimony. Josh has also been fully cooperating with an NCAA review of the allegations," Pastner's attorneys said in a statement.