MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The top lawyer for the University of Minnesota is hailing a state Supreme Court decision as a major vindication.

The high court Wednesday overturned a $1 million award against the university and men's basketball coach Tubby Smith. It ruled they couldn't be held financially responsible for backing out of an assistant coach job offer in 2007 that Smith lacked the authority to make to Jimmy Williams.

General counsel Mark Rotenberg says the court recognized Smith never told Williams he had a final job offer and indeed told him just the opposite -- that athletics director Joel Maturi would have the final say.

Williams' attorney, Donald Chance Mark Jr., says they believe the decision is in error. They say the university should be neither proud of nor emboldened by the decision.