Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Andrew Giuliani Duke Golf Team Suit Stuck in a Bunker?

Being the son of a big name former mayor should be good for a lot of perks, one would think. A spot on a college golf team ... not one of them. Or at least that's what a magistrate judge may be indicating in the lawsuit brought by Andrew Giuliani against Duke University. Another perk not flowing from his namesake appears to be respect, either, as U.S. magistrate Judge Wallace Dixon took Caddyshack-quote-pot-shots at the lawsuit which he indicated should be dismissed.

As a quick refresher, the suit was brought last year and claimed Andrew Giuliani was wrongfully kicked off the golf team, or as ESPN described it in more detail, the young Giuliani "had dreams of becoming a professional golfer" but instead got "dismissed without cause" and "without a chance to defend himself." He went on to indicate that coach O.D. Vincent III wanted to cut the team's size in half, so he fabricated some reasons to cut Giuliani. In doing so, the coach broke the contract between Giuliani and Duke University, per the complaint.

However, the magistrate judge colorfully teed off on Andrew Giuliani's claims yesterday, one at a time. ESPN listed some of the nuggets:

...Giuliani asserted he had properly made a claim for breach of contract. Dixon wrote, "His analysis, however, slices far from the fairway."

In another section, Dixon asserted that Giuliani was trying to change arguments "like trying to change clubs after hitting the golf ball."

Likewise with Giuliani's reference to a "good faith" covenant: "Plaintiff attempts to take a mulligan with this argument; however, this shot also lands in the drink."

And as for interference with a contract: "Plaintiff also shanks this claim." ...

[Another] argument, Dixon writes, "brings to mind Carl Spackler's analysis from the movie 'Caddyshack' (Orion Pictures 1980): 'He's on his final hole. He's about 455 yards away, he's gonna hit about a 2 iron, I think.'"

On Duke's side, a spokesman was only too happy to point out that the magistrate judge's opinion confirmed "there is no right to play on a college sports team." Considering that Giuliani has now graduated from Duke, one might think he'd be letting this one go at this point. But his lawyer indicates they're going to take another hack at it when the recommendation gets reviewed, and that Andrew is "looking forward to his day in court".