Jerry Snodgrass, who was fired in July 2020 as executive director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, is suing his former employer for breach of contract.
In a lawsuit filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Snodgrass alleges that OSHAA terminated his three-year contract nearly 13 months before its expiration date "without a majority vote of its board members... and outside of a board meeting."
The lawsuit also asserts that OSHAA "did not place Mr. Snodgrass on a performance improvement plan at any time prior to his termination.... and did not provide any notice of any kind to Mr. Snodgrass that his work performance was lacking or unacceptable for any reason."
OHSAA officials declined to comment on the lawsuit and its allegations.
"We are not able to comment on pending litigation," spokesman Tim Stried said.
Snodgrass' lawsuit, filed Sept. 7, is seeking lost wages and lost benefits, including accrued but unused sick days and vacation days. He says he was entitled to those under his contract upon termination of employment, but OSHAA has refused to pay.
The contract, signed when Snodgrass was hired in June 2018, included an annual salary of $170,000.
Snodgrass had served as an assistant commissioner and director of sports management of OHSAA since 2008 when he was elevated to the executive director's job after a nationwide search.
Prior to joining OSHAA, Snodgrass was a 31-year veteran in education as a teacher, basketball coach and athletic director — 25 of whose years at Findlay High School.
At the time of his termination, OSHAA officials had little to say about the reasons.
"The board of directors felt it necessary to go in a different direction with OHSAA leadership. We cannot go into more detail at this time," Stried said then.
Two well-placed sources told The Dispatch at the time that, despite being respected and even beloved statewide by high school administrators and coaches, Snodgrass did not have a good relationship with his staff within OHSAA offices.
According to the lawsuit, Snodgrass' contract could be terminated for one of just three reasons: mutual agreement of the parties; retirement, disability or death; or termination for cause, including violations of board policies and provisions.
The board did not terminate Snodgrass for any of those reasons, the lawsuit alleges.
"From July 6, 2020, to present, OSHAA and its agents articulated (orally and in writing) conflicting and inconsistent reasons for terminating Mr. Snodgrass as executive director," the lawsuit states. "The reasons articulated by OHSAA and its agents have no factual support."