Lawyer Calls Decision to Fire Fencing Coach an Insult: Kaidanov Said to be Considering Options
The lawyer representing Emmanuil Kaidanov says the former Penn State fencing coach was indeed fired.
Kaidanov was a highly successful coach who led the men's'and women's fencing teams for 31 years. He left recently under mysterious circumstances.
Attorney Alvin DeLevie tells StateCollege.com, "There was no reason to fire him. It was wrong. It is a mistake. It's an insult to a coach who was dedicated to student-athletes for 31 years. It was what I call a Penn State overreaction to a minor personnel issue."
DeLevie says he met with Kaidanov Tuesday afternoon but it's too early to say whether there will be any legal action.
"He was wrongly fired," says DeLevie. "I am now looking at what his options are. ... When we make a decision we will proceed. It was a huge overreaction. There is nothing that would shock anyone.
"He was to fencing what Joe Paterno was to football. He is a wonderful man a wonderful mentor."
During his tenure Kaidanov (pronounced kigh-DAN-off) led his teams to a combined 12 NCAA championships.
His teams won NCAA crowns in 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009,2010. Kaidanov's fencers amassed 28 NCAA Individual Titles. There were 10 Olympians and 188 All-Americans.
There have been a flurry of posts on the internet, claiming that Kaidanov's departure had something to do with an incident involving an assistant coach. DeLevie would not comment on those reports.
There was no immediate reply to a request for comment from the Penn State athletic department.
On Saturday, Jeff Nelson, a spokesperson for the Penn State athletics department released a statement saying, "This is a confidential personnel matter and we therefore are not at liberty to discuss it. He no longer is a University employee."
Kaidanov's departure is the latest in a string of recent coaching changes at Penn State. Baseball coach Robbie Wine, swimming and diving coach John Hargis and softball coach Robin Petrini have left Penn State since last spring.