Meet the latest brain storm sweeping athletic departments across America.
But the bigger theme emerging from this cycle thus far isn’t as much about the expected movement, which will be underwhelming compared to the past few years, but rather the blatant attempt by some schools to wiggle out of hefty buyouts.
This is now a strategy for schools looking for a cheaper way out of their basketball problems: Fire a coach “for cause,” concoct a set of issues that purport to show how the coach violated his contract, then wait for the lawsuit to come so that negotiations on a new buyout number can begin before the depositions.
Moar lawyers, babee!
On the plus side, at least it’s starting to dawn on some athletic directors that they’re dishing out ridiculous buyout deals in contracts. Progress, of a sorts.
6 responses to “I got ‘yer ‘for cause’ right here.”
Frankly I have been waiting for this to become widespread. The buyouts now are so huge there certainly is incentive for the schools to essentially commit fraud. Ever since Texas Tech skated on its buyout when it fired Mike Leach for that weak-assed dark electrical closet business it has been obvious to anyone with half a brain (and a litigation background) that schools who have a huge buyout obligation can either lessen it or avoid it entirely by invoking the “for cause” clause in the HC’s contract and trumping up a BS for cause reason to fire a HC it really wants to get rid of for lackluster performance. It doesn’t matter if the for cause violation is true–or even if true really would support a firing for cause. Just throw that plate of spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks. Worst case you drag it out for years until the HC runs up the white flag and settles for a percentage of what he should get because he has gotten a new offer and wants to put the case behind him or realizes the litigation is keeping him from getting hired elsewhere. IMHO the Pirate had a great case all the way up until the court threw it out because of sovereign immunity, a totally bogus legal argument in an employment case but which was accepted in that crooked third world known as the State of Texas. In the new millennium that there no longer is truth–only lies repeated in the media loudly enough and often enough to make them sound true. It doesn’t matter what is the truth. It only matters what you can get away with. And these assholes have the audacity to to pretend they are in the business of educating athletes and call them amateurs to avoid having to pay them. A new low in hypocrisy even for college athletic directors.
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I think what will eventually happen is that coaches won’t sign contracts with ‘for cause’ outs if they can get away with it. You may say the schools won’t allow that but who ever thought 20 years ago coaches would be paid not to coach? The schools desperate to win will do crazy things.
Employers trying to stretch firing for cause isn’t that much news. The fact that athletic directors took so long to get with the program is news.
I wonder if/when some reasonably astute athletic director will try to tie wins and losses into cause, or have a lower but still handsome buyout number if the coach doesn’t win enough.
I believe Georgia Tech is doing this to Josh Pastner as we speak.
My advice is don’t go on any deep sea fishing trips.
I generally think this probably leans towards shadiness and bad faith on the part of athletic directors. However, as a Memphis fan, there really does need to be some type of fix in the drafting of these contracts for when a coach literally has no interest in doing about 2/3rds of what is outlined under his contract. Tubby Smith’s contract is worth $3 million: I believe $800,000 of it is allocated to traditional basketball coaching while the other roughly 2/3rds are media / recruiting / community / PR obligations. Since the moment that man walked in the door he has simply been a ghost to the media, the community, has failed to land a single local recruit (and by all accounts has made very little effort to do so). His attorney just spoke to the paper and stated that “it is not the responsibility of Tubby Smith to put butts in the seats.”
The man literally is using Memphis as a plush little retirement fund. I know, the school shouldn’t have signed him. But this is a situation where he is basically refusing to do what many in 2018 would consider basic functions of employment of a Division 1 head basketball coach. Especially one making $3million per year.
if the demand for remains high for a highly sought after coach, He’ll merely shorten the contract but increase the rate. He’ll get it on the front end. Maybe not the ludicrous amounts being paid out in buyouts, but the first coach that gets skewered by an AD on it will be the canary.