Kramer settles suit over firing

Former Montana State football coach Mike Kramer said Wednesday he settled a lawsuit with the university partly because it was interfering with his desire to return to coaching.

''It is time to put this chapter behind me and move forward,'' Kramer said in a written statement announcing the $240,000 settlement.

''With this settlement, I am vindicated; yet, it is with very mixed emotions,'' Kramer said. ''I firmly believe - and am confident we would have proven at trial - that Montana State's athletic director, president and others libeled and slandered me, intentionally defamed my character and unfairly tarnished my reputation in an attempt to cover up many of their own decisions.''

Kramer filed the lawsuit in December 2007, arguing that school officials fired him under the ''without cause'' clause in his contract and then issued a press release and made public comments about the firing without giving him a chance to appeal the decision.

A breach of contract allegation was one of several claims that were dismissed earlier. A trial had been set to begin Monday in Helena to deal with the remaining issues of whether MSU libeled, slandered or portrayed Kramer in a false light after his May 2007 firing. The settlement dealt with those allegations.

MSU legal counsel Leslie Taylor said the school believes the settlement is in the best interest of all parties involved. Read more