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Southern Lab head coach Marcus Randall

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE

Suspended Southern Laboratory High School football coach Marcus Randall filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming he was wrongly accused of recruiting students and then mistreated as sanctions were handed down against him and his team. 

Randall, a former LSU and Glen Oaks High quarterback who had coached for two seasons at Southern Lab, was suspended for one year following the school's self-imposed investigation by an out-of-state firm that uncovered recruitment violations. Randall has also said he was fired.

"What we’re looking for is information first," Randall said Tuesday. "We need to get copies of the (Southern Lab-sanctioned) report and anything else used to make these judgments and rulings that were made. We haven’t seen any of that."

Randall's suspension by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association was announced on Aug. 22 along with other athletic sanctions against the school, including a playoff ban and players ruled ineligible. Other coaches were also suspended following the report, though their names were not shared publicly. 

In a mid-September closed-door appeal hearing, the Southern Lab playoff ban was shortened and some of their football players were again allowed to play. Randall's suspension and school fines were upheld.

Neither Randall nor his attorney, Jill Craft, were allowed inside that appeal hearing. 

"Nobody wants to tell us what he's accused of, nobody wants to show us the documents and nobody wants to let him talk," Craft said. 

Randall has said he was also terminated from his non-athletic role as dean of students at the high school.

The lawsuit is filed against the Southern University Board of Supervisors; the Louisiana High School Athletic Association and its executive director, Eddie Bonine; the Louisiana High School Coaches Association and its director, Terence Williams; and Herman Brister Jr., both individually and as director of Southern University Laboratory School.

The lawsuit claims, as Randall has since the allegations, that he never recruited any individuals to play football at Southern Lab or to attend Southern Lab. 

"I maintain my right to due process and the right to clear my name," Randall said. "Clearing my name and not having any of this attached to me moving forward … that is the goal."

The lawsuit alleges Randall had a stellar reputation that has been defamed by the false recruitment allegations and the resulting sanctions. The lawsuit also alleges that Randall has requested on many occasions to see any documents that led to his disciplinary actions, calling those documents a public record, and that he has had no opportunity to contest the decision, despite such requests. 

Southern University spokesman Henry Tillman said the university and its Lab School are aware of the lawsuit, but declined to comment on the pending litigation. 

Calls for comment from the directors of both the Louisiana High School Athletic Association and the Louisiana High School Coaches Association were not returned Tuesday evening. 

The case has been assigned to 19th Judicial District Court Judge Todd Hernandez.

Follow Grace Toohey on Twitter, @grace_2e.