Ousted football coach Frank Kush sued three Arizona State University officials and drag-strip promotor Rich Lynch for $40 million ( $10 million each) today, minutes before State Attorney General Bob Corbin held that the school acted improperly in firing Kush.

Several hours later, university President John Schwada, one of the defendants in Kush's suit, notified the ousted coach that he will receive a public hearing before a faculty committee Nov. 30. Schwada said that group would recommend to him within 10 days whether Kush should be reinstated or not.

Kush's Maricopa County Superior Court suit charged conspiracy, defemation, due-process violations and interference with his contract as coach. d

The attorney general's opinion said the university erred in failing to observe due process adopted by the State Board of Regents for suspending an accused administrator. Corbin said the coach should be reinstated but noted that only the courts have the power to issue such an order.

"If Kush had been fired without being given any reason, it would have been legal under the rules," Corbin added. "But once the allegations of lying and covering up were made, the code was triggered."

Fred Miller, Arizona State athletic director, announced Oct. 13 that Kush had been removed for an alleged attempt to cover up an assault on Kevin Rutledge, a former punter. Kush denied asking players or assistant coaches to lie for him, or of punching Rutledge, who has sued Kush and the school for $1.1 million.

Kush blamed his dismissal on a conspiracy by Lynch, who had admitted arranging up to $6,500 worth of gifts for Arizona State football players.