Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville's business partner, John David Stroud, issued a statement to the LAJ's Brittany Hoover regarding the lawsuit:
Harris Kay, a Chicago-based attorney representing Stroud, said in the statement, "(Stroud) did not solicit the plaintiffs to invest with TS Capital and did not engage in the conduct of which he is accused."
He further absolved Tuberville of any responsibility.
"Indeed, some of the plaintiffs were employees of TS Capital and were closely involved in the matters of which they complain in the lawsuit," Kay said in the statement. "It is disingenuous and incorrect for them to claim now that Mr. Stroud or Coach Tuberville acted improperly with respect to any of them. Given Coach Tuberville’s lack of involvement with the day-to-day operations of the company, as well as the fact that he did not solicit the plaintiffs, Mr. Stroud can only surmise that he was named in this lawsuit to garner unwarranted media attention, which has apparently succeeded. Mr. Stroud will vigorously defend the accusations made against him."
The interesting thing here isn't that Stroud says, through his attorney, that Stroud did nothing wrong, but that Stroud absolved Tuberville of the day-to-day operations and that Tuberville was not involved in any form an fashion in the plaintiff's investments. Essentially, the original petition states that the management and operations of the business was mis-managed, including the investments, and now Stroud has said that Tuberville didn't have anything to do with those things. And as I think about it, I'm trying to come up with a reason as to why Stroud would absolve Tuberville. The first one would be that it's true that Tuberville had little management or control over the business or . . . And that's where I'm stuck as I cannot think of another reason why Stroud would say this. I'm sure you all will help me.
Stroud's attorney continues:
"Coach Tuberville has had nothing to do with these plaintiffs’ investments," Hayslip said Wednesday. "He did not solicit investments, encourage investments or manage investments. He had absolutely nothing to do with their investments."
I think this makes Tuberville look much better, when the business partner essentially absolves Tuberville of any wrong-doing. I still think its problematic that their registrations with the Delaware Secretary of State were revoked for not paying franchise taxes as that creates personal liability for the owners of the business and I'd imagine that those franchise tax returns are being filed somewhat immediately. I think this is the biggest issue for Tuberville if the comments made by Stroud's attorney are, in fact, correct, and I'd also say that sometimes ignorance of what's happening with a business that you own isn't necessarily the best defense.
I don't know if these comments make anyone else feel better and just as I think that it's not fair to necessarily judge the situation until all of the facts are presented (right now, all we have are allegations on both parts) I'm a bit more comfortable with the situation than I was two days ago when the news broke. It looked real bad initially, but that's usually the case in this type of situation. The other thing that I think makes me feel a bit better is that I have had time to read the affidavits from the National Futures Association from The Huntsville Times original story (look at the bottom of the story) and they never mention Tuberville by name, but rather refer to him as a co-owner only one time. It seems that if the NFA affidavits mention Stroud quite often in an allegation for failure to do whatever is requested as far as investments are concerned.
This is just speculation on my part, but I wouldn't be surprised if Stroud got a phone call from Tuberville the night before last where Tuberville asked Stroud what in the Sam Hill was going on with the business. I'm sure that Tuberville knew that he lost money and one could probably surmise that other investors lost money, but I think that Tuberville probably didn't know all of the other stuff happening with the NFA.
This is a long ways from being over, but I still come away feeling a bit better.