Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

I tell clients all the time that a contract is only as good as the people who signed it are.  So you can imagine how good these contracts were:

Georgia Southern’s co-offensive coordinators last season, who were fired in the wake of a 5-7 record, have filed separate lawsuits against the school’s athletic association, head coach Tyson Summers and multiple administrators including athletics director Tom Kleinlein. The lawsuits allege breach of contract, fraud and tortious interference after the school failed to execute the 18-month contracts the coaches signed initially, then pressured them to sign shorter deals two days before their dismissal…

… After being offered the job by Summers and receiving formal offer sheets, both David Dean and Rance Gillespie signed 18-month contracts on Jan. 27, 2016, that established June 30, 2017, as the end of their term.

Both coaches claim that more than nine months later, they learned the school’s Board of Regents and the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation never signed the contracts. According to the lawsuits, Summers notified the coaching staff on Nov. 3, 2016, that new contracts were being prepared.

The second contract, which was given to the coaches following the 10th game of the season on Nov. 16, had changed the end of the agreement to Feb. 28, 2017.

The lawsuit alleges that Summers, Kleinlein, senior associate athletics director for business operations Jeff Blythe and director of football operations Cymone George “conspired to change the terms of the January Contract and specifically the employment end date” in order to save money, knowing they would be making coaching changes on the offensive staff.

The lawsuit states that Dean refused three requests from George to sign the new contract, believing he already had signed a valid contract. Dean claims he finally signed the new contract on Dec. 2 following a phone call with Blythe that left him with the impression that if he didn’t sign it, he could be fired any time and that his salary and benefits would immediately cease. Gillespie’s lawsuit makes the same claim, saying Blythe “informed Gillespie that it would be in Gillespie’s best interest to sign the November contract for his own protection.”

All this to save a few bucks, evidently, as the fix was already in.

These events were unfolding amidst a swirl of speculation that Summers might be removed as head coach following his first season, as fans were upset by offensive changes away from the school’s traditional triple-option attack and the failure to make a bowl game despite returning 17 starters from the previous year’s 9-4 team.

On Dec. 3, following the final game of the season, Kleinlein announced that Summers would remain as head coach. The next day, however, Dean and Gillespie were let go. On Dec. 9, Georgia Southern hired Georgia Tech quarterbacks coach Bryan Cook — who turned down the job a year earlier — to be the offensive coordinator.

Whatever GSU saved will likely get eaten up in attorney’s fees, but at least they know one thing there.  As Brian VanGorder can tell you, nothing good ever comes of ditching the triple option in Statesboro.



Filed under Georgia Southern Football, See You In Court

12 responses to “Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

  1. PharmDawg

    May Georgia Southern go 5-7 in perpetuity…serves the yahoos right for going up to FBS and joining the SunBelt (AKA “Crash Dummy”) Conference!


  2. HVL Dawg

    The Porsche dealer in Bham just got an order for a crimson 718. Cash buyer. I heard a lawyer was getting it.


  3. AthensHomerDawg

    “Sounds like they didn’t even talk with their attorneys before signing the new contracts. Weird. “


    • Edawg55

      I wouldn’t trust Gillespie in a Sh*t house with a muzzle on. He has been back dooring his way through agreements for years.


      • paul

        Nevertheless, it’s not likely Southern gets away with this. In the end, they’ll probably have to pay the coaches, definitely have to pay the lawyers and definitely have to pay to deal with the bad publicity. Idiots.


  4. Bright Idea

    Summers is being forced to run the triple option and the new OC Bryan Cook is the head coach in waiting. Southern will become Tech 2.0 again but without the resources. They will be a pain to defend but middling to bad on defense. This program is headed south simply because forcing any offense on any coach is a terrible idea. Not a lot of guys left on Paul Johnson’s coaching tree either for Southern to hire in the future.


    • 69Dawg

      Who’s the coach at Kennesaw State? He played at UGA but coached at GT I think. Hell Alabama has played Georgia State twice and we won’t give them the time of day. We like foreign pastry as opposed to homemade.


    • Ricky McDurden

      I like to think of Southern as the opposite end of the “Tradition” spectrum: whereas P5 conferences seem hellbent on doing away with pageantry and tradition for the sake of making more money, Southern is apparently willing to pay legal fees through the nose to adhere to some odd sense of tradition (triple option offense, ride on yellow school buses to games, etc). I guess when you’re that low on the CFB totem pole, it’s not about winning games so much as it is being as unique and as stubborn as you can for the pride of what paying fans you have (meanwhile, App St and Ark St seem to have no trouble running a balanced attack and winning the Sun Belt. You mean to tell me that with all the leftover talent in South Ga, Ga Southern can’t do the same or just won’t?)


  5. reality check here

    I’m not a lawyer Senator but it looks like a binding contact to me. You have offer, acceptance, consideration, legal purpose, the coaches performed their duties and the only fraud is on the part of GSU. I don’t think the fact the assholes at GSU didn’t sign it matter.


  6. adam

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tyson Summers as the DC in Athens next spring.