College basketball coach settles defamation lawsuit

CINCINNATI -- University of Mississippi basketball coach Andy Kennedy on Tuesday settled a defamation lawsuit with a cab driver and a valet stemming from a dispute over a ride.

Details of the settlement were kept confidential as attorneys told Judge Melba Marsh in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court that they had reached an agreement.

There wasn't a financial settlement, a source close to Kennedy told's Andy Katz, but Kennedy agreed to drop the lawsuit. Kennedy also will pay court costs, which is customary because he brought the suit.

The cab driver told police in 2008 that Kennedy punched him and used racial slurs after he refused to carry all five members of Kennedy's staff in his taxi because it had only four seats for passengers. He apologized to Kennedy on Tuesday.

"I would like to apologize to Mr. Kennedy and the court for any role I may have played in this unfortunate incident," driver Mohamed Jiddou said in court. "I am now ready to move forward with my life, and I hope that my apology will let Mr. Kennedy move forward with his."

The valet, Michael Strother, who witnessed the altercation, did not issue an apology but accepted Kennedy's apology from 2009.

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