Ron Bell, kneeling in the background, watches Georgia Tech’s basketball team practice in 2016. Bell, a reformed prescription-drug addict and former prison inmate, befriended coach Josh Pastner, standing in the foreground, gaining remarkable access to Pastner’s teams and his family. Then their relationship dissolved amid allegations of NCAA violations, blackmail and sexual assault. Photo courtesy of Ron Bell.

New Orleans lawyer to lead investigation of Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastner

A New Orleans-based lawyer is leading an investigation into allegations that Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner sexually assaulted an Arizona woman.

Tech hired attorney Scott Schneider of the law firm Fisher Phillips to lead the review, announced last week after the woman, Jennifer Pendley, and her boyfriend, Ron Bell, sued Pastner. The coach had earlier sued Pendley and Bell, charging them with defamation, extortion and blackmail. Pastner said they concocted a story of sexual offenses to get money from him.

The suit by Pendley and Bell alleges Pastner sexually assaulted or harassed Pendley more than a dozen times in 2016, first at Memphis, where he previously was head coach, and then at Tech.

In a letter engaging Schneider, Tech said it learned of the allegations against Pastner through the litigation. Schneider will be paid $410 per hour.

For an in-depth look at the case, go to

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.