MANHATTAN — The ongoing lawsuit between Kansas State and former football coach Ron Prince will need to be decided in front of a jury.
Riley County District Court judge David Stutzman denied both parties' motions for summary judgment Friday.
Both sides argued their cases in early September, and Stutzman's ruling came in a court order entered Friday, obtained by the Eagle.
"The court finds that genuine issues of material fact are in dispute, precluding summary judgment," Stutzman wrote. "Those fact disputes need to be resolved by trial."
No trial date has been set, although lawyers were ordered to contact the court within seven days to coordinate a date for a case management conference.
K-State filed the lawsuit in hopes of barring Prince from receiving deferred payments of $3.2 million from a "secret" agreement between Prince and former athletic director Bob Krause in 2008, months before Prince was fired.
Prince's lawyers hope to enforce the agreement and are seeking $3 million in punitive damages. Prince received $1.2 million in buyout money from his regular contract.
In his ruling, Stutzman painted a picture of the two most important factors of the case.
K-State lawyers will need to prove Prince supplied no consideration, or anything of value, in signing a memo separate of his 2008 contract that arranged for deferred payments to be made. Prince's lawyers argue the former coach would not have signed the contract if not for the memorandum. Stutzman wrote that "could establish the legal consideration the (memo) requires."
The other key topic is authority. K-State insists Krause had neither the actual nor apparent authority to sign the memo on behalf of the university's Intercollegiate Athletic Council. Prince's lawyers will need to prove he did.
"The IAC's argument that Krause knew or should have known that he had no authority to enter into the MOU on behalf of the IAC is a secondary issue between those two parties," Stutzman wrote. "That is not before the court and, frankly, is not ripe until the primary question is decided. That primary question is a factual dispute that presents an issue for decision by a jury."