“College football coach contracts are often prematurely renegotiated.”

The unique genius of college athletic directors, in two paragraphs:

“If we have a good coach or we think we do, we’re probably better off extending him because if we don’t, we have to let him go for whatever reason because he went to greener pastures, well, then we had the one coach that got away and it’s going to be expensive for us to pay off all the assistants who otherwise didn’t find a job and hire a search firm and hire a new coach and then pay market-grade for that particular coach. I think that that’s mistaken,” said attorney Bob Lattinville, co-chairman of the St. Louis-based Spencer Fane LLP’s collegiate athletics legal team.

I presume Bob gets paid for giving that advice.  Nice work, if you can get it.  Especially when you know going in that your clients aren’t going to listen to you.

“For some reason, we have some large swings in the marketplace and then it seems like a number of (contracts) start to get adjusted based on a wild swing in the marketplace. Whether or not they might be justified,” Castiglione said. “But there are other forces at work. I don’t mean to sound like I’m commenting against anyone, but agents are crafty. They know how leverage works. They can manipulate the marketplace at times to the advantage of their clients. They’re doing their jobs.”

“For some reason”?  You mean, like it’s some sort of mystery why Jimmy Sexton can’t wait to sit down with the next overmatched negotiating partner?

Damned crafty agents.  Yeah, that’s the problem.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

9 responses to ““College football coach contracts are often prematurely renegotiated.”

  1. Connor

    What’s frustrating is I don’t think Sexton and his ilk are particularly crafty, it’s just that school administrators are universally so dumb.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Macallanlover

      This exactly. It is like they never think about how to handle it better. ll have business schools, most have law schools, and all can afford an outside firm to give them a long term strategy on how to operate. I get the marketplace dynamics that drive them to act irrationally, but a study would indicate there are other options than just the hot ticket. Might be a good case study for the business schools to work on. In Gus and Jimbo’s cases they have several years (7-10) to plan a better way to handle and structure.

      There are new names every year succeeding at a rate higher than the same old bunch. Less risky, and less expensive, options if they plan ahead and not wait until a crisis hits. In other words, the supply is greater than the demand if they looked around continually and didn’t make everyone of these situations a fire drill.


  2. ASEF

    Fund raising/schmoozer ADs are not likely to be also very good organisational managers. And good organisational managers are not likely to schmooze all the disparate constituencies in ways that lead to long term success and job security.

    But they are all rolling in dough, and that makes expensive band aids an easy short term fix to whatever ails ya.


  3. AusDawg85

    The AD’s problems can’t possibly be that they are getting on the wrong side of the curve upfront in negotiations by putting long term guarantees into these contracts in the first place, could it? Incentive bonuses and deferred compensation subject to a vesting schedule could align interests far better. Maybe these AD’s should stroll by their business schools on campus and audit a class or two.


    • ASEF

      Recruits are making 4 year comittments. If they don’t see stability in the program that far out, it becomes a recruiting liability. Guys like Kirby eat that sort of advantage for breakfast.


  4. Bright Idea

    It’s easier to overpay than explain the mechanics of searching for a new coach. If he’s a loser just buy him out with somebody else’s money.


    • The other Doug

      and Jimmy Sexton understands this. He knows he can sell Gus Malzahn’s extension because the AD’s nightmare is Gus leaving and the AD having to replace him after Tennessee and Florida struggled to hire an elite candidate. It’s so easy when it’s other people’s money. You know the player’s compensation money.


  5. Joe Schmoe

    The attitude of the ADs defies the laws of supply and demand. High profile / high paying coaching jobs are really not that plentiful in the grand scheme. I’m not saying that there are great head coaches hanging out on every street corner, but the problem is that ADs are so incompetent at scouring the country for coaching talent and seem only capable of hiring known names whether or not they are actually successful and not really just washed up re-treads.


    • An accurate benchmark of demand is tainted when the lobbyists (big donors) that keep you in your job foot the bill as well. They demand face saving and high profile hires. I suppose it could be worse, and is worse at schools outside the G5 who operate in the red (at least Auburn’s vet program isn’t facing cuts because of Gus). But then you actually see pretty reasonable and diligent coaching searches at the G5 level. Solid coaches plucked from obscurity that are good at what they do. But then it’s back to apples and oranges again, as G5 teams are usually in the world of losing somebody to a better job with absolutely zero ability to stave off the poaching.