John Chavis and LSU are suing each other
Six successful, harmonious seasons shared between LSU and its former defensive coordinator John Chavis will end in a courtroom. The two sides sued each other, Chavis first filed suit in Brazos County, Texas, and LSU countered in East Baton Rouge Parish, La. At the center of the dispute is $400,000 the Tigers believe Chavis owes them for a brief of contract.
Texas A&M is also named in Chavis’ suit, though it’s not a sign of squabble between the man they call Chief and his new employer. Rather, it’s a strategy play by Chavis and the Aggies. A&M is fully committed to paying its new defensive coordinator’s buyout, though, like Chavis, it doesn’t believe it should have to.
It’s a stark contrast from the way A&M’s rival has handled a very similar situation. Texas co-offensive coordinator Joe Wickline is in the midst of a testy lawsuit with his former employer Oklahoma State, whom believes is due a $600,000 buyout. That one has gotten to the point where Charlie Strong was asked to provide testimony clarifying whether or not Wickline actually calls the Longhorns’ plays. Texas athletics director Steve Patterson has stated on multiple occasions the lawsuit is Wickline’s problem, not UT’s. That’s not the case here.
— Ross Dellenger (@DellengerAdv) February 28, 2015
As for this case, this extremely uneducated legal amateur believes LSU has a strong case. Chavis’ contract, which expired Dec. 31, 2015, dissolved the buyout if he accepted another job 11 months before its end date. Chavis says he did, evidenced by the fact A&M did not officially announce his hiring until Feb. 13. In reality, Stevie Wonder could see Chavis started working for the Aggies well before that.
— Ross Dellenger (@DellengerAdv) January 15, 2015
Unless the Aggies have a few legal rabbits to pull out of their hat, the guess here is that A&M will pay LSU a sum between zero and 400,000 dollars. And for its part, LSU says if it does not receive buyout money it at least wants A&M to float the costs associated with finding Chief’s replacement. There would be your middle ground.
Regardless of the final verdict, it doesn’t take a law degree to see Joe Alleva and the LSU administration should never have let it reach this point in the first place.
MAC, Sun Belt release 2015 schedules
And then there was one.
Following 2015 scheduling announcements by the SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, American and Conference USA, the MAC and Sun Belt followed suit by separately releasing their respective slates on Friday. The Mountain West is the only remaining FBS conference without a 2015 schedule on the books.
The schedules are what they are: beginning Labor Day weekend, wrapping up Dec. 5, with a fair amount of weeknight games in between. The most interesting aspect of any mid-major schedule are the amount of Power Five programs visiting MAC and Sun Belt campuses.
A total of six Power Five programs will visit the 24 combined MAC and Sun Belt stadiums this fall.
– Oklahoma State at Central Michigan, Sept. 3
– Michigan State at Western Michigan, Sept. 4
– Missouri at Arkansas State, Sept. 12
– Pittsburgh at Akron, Sept. 12
– Iowa State at Toledo, Sept. 19
– N.C. State at South Alabama, Sept. 26
Early picks for game of the year in each league? How bout Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas State on Oct. 20 (a Tuesday!) and Western Michigan at Northern Illinois on Nov. 18 (a Wednesday!). They don’t call these leagues Fun Belt and MACtion for nothing.
Ohio State puts its position coaches in charge of their players’ financial literacy
CBS Sports columnist Dennis Dodd published a long look at the oncoming Cost of Attendance package FBS programs will offer student-athletes as of Aug. 1. Hidden among the forest of discussion points the COA creates, Dodd uncovered one interesting nugget: In the wake of the Tattoogate scandal that rocked Ohio State’s football program in 2011, Ohio State places its position coaches in charge of their players’ financial literacy.
From the article:
Players can’t buy a car or lease an apartment until they clear it with a position coach first. Athletes have to write out a budget and are responsible for balancing a checkbook.
During that scandal, former tailback Dan Herron was suspended twice by the NCAA for accepting improper benefits.
“He legitimately needed some money,” Ohio State AD Gene Smith said. “That was a miss for us. We were teaching financial literacy but, still, how did that pass us? How did we not have a method for that young person to say, ‘I am in dire straits?’.”
Smith said the process was borne out of, yes, Tattoogate, but also years of seeing students spend Pell grant money in a way that wasn’t in their long term best interest. “What was happening is if you were Pell eligible and you got that big check, they were going to Nordstrom and buying a nice pair of shoes,” Smith told CBS.
Is this overreaching the bounds of what a position coach should be, or the necessary oversight players need? Should coaches cede this responsibility to parents or teachers, or do coaches have to step in as financial chaperones because no one else will?
If you’re a college coach, how much financial education does your program impart on your players? How much should a football program oversee its players finances?
Watch how Houston is “building champions through competition”
“We’re not afraid of any type of competition.”
That seems to be the message that the Houston football team is sending under new head coach Tom Herman judging by their first two off season workout video releases (the first of which can be seen here).
“At Houston we are building champions through competition.” the clip closes by stating.
There is certainly a new energy surrounding the Houston program.
Texas A&M backing away from #WRTS trademark
Ever since Kevin Sumlin’s arrival prior to the 2012 season, Texas A&M has used social media to its advantage like no other program in college football. While an aggressive, smart coaching staff, the SEC, instant success, the SEC, new facilities and the SEC have led Texas A&M considerable recruiting efforts over the past three years, dynamic marketing hasn’t hurt. Central to that marketing identity has been the #WRTS hashtag.
— AggieFBLife (@aggiefblife) February 24, 2015
As recently as two weeks ago the #WRTS mantra was central to the Aggies’ recruiting efforts.
But legend has it, five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack is the originator of the #WRTS hashtag. While we can’t prove that, we do know his family has filed for and no owns its trademark. In a statement provided to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the Aggies confirmed they are backing away and ceding the profitability (however lucrative it may or may not be is another question entirely) to the Mack family.
“Texas A&M has not had any plans — past or future — to trademark, purchase, or otherwise profit financially from #WRTS,” the statement read. “Texas A&M was aware of Mr. Coris Mack’s trademark application but this trademark application had nothing to do with the recruitment of Mr. Daylon Mack as a student-athlete at Texas A&M.”
For the Mack family’s sake, here’s hoping their business efforts have a longer shelf life than the last time the family of a current Aggie tried to turn notoriety into cash.