Former ETSU tennis coach connected to ongoing investigation, agrees to pay $31,000

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Former head tennis coach Yaser Zaatini is connected to an ongoing investigation by East Tennessee State University, according to a university spokesperson.

Zaatini resigned abruptly last week In the middle of the tennis season with no explanation.

According to ETSU records obtained through a public records request, Zaatini is promising to pay $31,293.13 to the university over three years. He attached a promissory note to his resignation letter.

“In connection with this resignation I make no admission of malfeasance,” Zaatini wrote in his letter to ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland.

ETSU spokesperson Joe Smith said this when questioned about the situation:

“Those are Mr Zaatini’s words and he would need to address that. It is our policy not to comment on ongoing investigations.”

When asked about Zaatini’s resignation following today’s ETSU Board of Trustees’ meeting, Dr. Noland said over the course of the next several weeks, there will be information that sheds light on the situation.

“At this point that work is ongoing and I can’t really speak to an ongoing HR matter,” Dr. Noland said. “We will bring that before the public when everything is brought to a close, but at this point we have an active examination of some things that were occurring within the tennis program.”

Zaatini served as head coach for the last 14 years. He’s an ETSU graduate and a member of the ETSU Hall of Fame.

His attorney Don Spurrell said, to his knowledge, this is not a criminal matter. He said Zaatini has nothing but good memories of ETSU.

“He feels positive about the future and wants to move on,” Spurrell said. “He loves the people at ETSU and the community. As far as any contractual disagreement with the university, it’s been resolved.”

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

 

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