WILLIAMSPORT – The former director of athletic training services and head football trainer at Penn State has sued the university claiming it breached a promise to renew his employment agreement.
Henry T. Bream III, who now lives in Florida, contends in a suit filed Monday in U.S. Middle District Court he was told in May 2017 by senior associate athletic director Charmelle Green his contract would be renewed at the existing terms.
A new agreement was never executed and on Feb. 6, 2018, Green notified him he had been relieved of all his duties except as head trainer for the football program and his salary would be $135,000.
Green’s letter cited changes in the structure of the intercollegiate athletic training services and stated Bream would be reporting to Renee Messina, the director of athletic training services.
Bream, a former head trainer for the NFL’s Chicago Bears, had signed a five-year employment agreement on Feb. 15, 2012, that was extended to June 30, 2017.
He continued to be paid after the expiration date at an annual rate of $188,928 plus benefits that included the use of a car, the use of a cell phone and motor vehicle, health, dental and vision insurance.
Bream says his salary was reduced to $135,000 and he lost the other benefits when his duties were reduced.
He contends the demotion was done without good cause and constituted a breach in his employment agreement.
The suit seeks unspecified damages and reinstatement of his written employment agreement. Penn State does not comment on pending litigation.
Last May a Centre County judge dismissed a suit in which Bream claimed Penn State initiated his resignation to avoid an appearance of impropriety or scandal.
He claimed he was forced out because he was a live-in adviser at Beta Theta Pi Fraternity on Feb.2, 2017, when Timothy Piazza fell down steps during a bid acceptance event and died two days later.
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The investigation into the event in which pledges were forced to consume alcohol resulted in Beta’s charter being revoked and 26 fraternity members charged criminally.
Bream was not charged but is named as a defendant in a third-party complaint filed by St. Moritz Security systems Inc. of Pittsburgh.
St. Moritz is one of the defendants in the federal wrongful death lawsuit brought by James and Evelyn Piazza on behalf of their son’s estate.
The Piazzas’ allege St. Moritz, which was to provide social checks, failed to ensure fraternities adhered to policies related to hazing and underage drinking.
St. Moritz says if it is found liable in the Piazza case and is required to pay damages, Penn State and other defendants including Bream should have to contribute toward them.
Bream is accused by St. Moritz of approving the bid acceptance for night events, helping acquire the alcohol and observing Piazza in an intoxicated state.