David Butler II | USA TODAY Sports

College sports are college sporting in Queens.

From ESPN:

Former St. John’s men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson is seeking nearly $46 million from the school after he claims he was fired with cause in March only so the school could avoid paying his buyout and use the money to hire Rick Pitino, per arbitration documents obtained by ESPN on Thursday.

In the “notice of intention to arbitrate” filed last month by Anderson’s lawyer, John Singer of Singer Deutsch, Anderson said he’s seeking the $11.4 million that was left on his contract and an additional $34.2 million for “punitive” damages.

St. John’s fired Anderson for cause in March, citing a bad program culture among other issues. And there is reporting that suggests some of the university’s claims are valid. But it was always obvious the Johnnies fired Anderson because he didn’t make the NCAA Tournament and Rick Pitino was available. The for-cause claim was just a ploy to shave a few bucks off the the $11-plus million buyout Anderson was owed.

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That said, the dubious for-cause firing approach never works. It failed for UConn with Kevin Ollie, it failed for Kansas with football coach David Beaty and it will likely now fail with Anderson. Even with this ridiculous demand. Anderson will end up getting close to the $11.4 million he is owed, St. John’s will end up paying a lot more money to some attorneys and this will prove a colossal waste of time save a few good headlines.

Not that it matters, of course, because Pitino will win the Big East and be in the Final Four within three years. Priorities.

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.