NM: MUMME OFFERS TO SETTLE SUIT
Less than two weeks before trial, a settlement offer has been made to four former New Mexico State University football players to drop a religious discrimination lawsuit against head coach Hal Mumme.
Mumme's attorney said the offer was strategic and was not an admission of wrongdoing by the coach.
The offer was made Monday, according to court filings in federal district court in Las Cruces. The amount of the offer was not disclosed.
"Basically, it's a strategic move to put pressure on the plaintiffs to basically consider settling the case," said Larry White of Las Cruces, Mumme's attorney.
According to federal rules, if the players decline the offer and obtain a judgment at trial that is less favorable than Mumme's offer, the players would have to pay Mumme's court costs, not including attorney's fees, incurred after the offer was turned down.
"It encourages them to realistically look at the value of the claim," White said, adding that he would be surprised if the players accepted the offer.
"It's made in good faith - I can't really get into the discussions we've had - at least it should possibly bring them to the bargaining table," White said. . .
The suit seeks unspecified damages and was filed last year by players Mu'Ammar Ali, Anthony and Vincent Thompson and Jacob Wallace who all say they were singled out by Mumme because they are Muslim, leading to their dismissal from the team.