SOUTH BEND, Ind. (KDKA) — Fired Pitt football head coach Michael Haywood was in court Monday after his ex-girlfriend accused him of assaulting her in front of their infant child.
Haywood is free on $1,000 bail and vows to fight the charges.
Neither Haywood nor his lawyer had anything to say before entering court. He pleaded not guilty to a domestic battery charge.
Police arrested Haywood Friday at his South Bend, Ind., home. The woman told police Haywood choked and pushed her, demanding that she not leave the house.
Police say the charge was raised from a misdemeanor to a felony since police say it occurred in the presence of the 21-month-old toddler.
His firing has left the Pitt football program in disarray. One assistant coach has left for Rutgers and KDKA’s Andy Sheehan has confirmed that offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti is following suit.
Meanwhile, two assistant coaches who worked with Haywood in Ohio resigned in anticipation of getting jobs at Pitt and now their careers are up in the air.
Sources say they never signed contracts with Pitt, but Haywood did. If he is cleared of the charges, some legal experts anticipate he might sue the university for wrongful firing.
Another hearing will be held on Jan. 11 to set a court date.