A year ago, Mike Groh left his post as Alabama's wide receivers coach to take the same position with the Chicago Bears.
Per his contract, Groh owed a buyout of 20 percent of his salary if he took another position before his contract expired. Groh made $285,000 in his final season in Tuscaloosa, and 20 percent of that is $57,000. Groh has not paid his buyout, and now Alabama is suing him for it (plus interest and fees).
What's interesting here is that Nick Saban could have opted to waive the buyout, as happens in on occasion in these cases, but chose not to. Fifty-seven thousand dollars is a lot of money, clearly, but that chunk of change will obviously affect Groh much more than Alabama or the Chicago Bears. Groh's contract stated he had 14 days to pay the damages and now, a year later, Alabama is taking him to court. Not a pretty situation for anyone involved.
We have no inside information here, but there are two lessons we'd like to pass along. First, do your best to leave any job on good terms. We're not trying to imply Groh left Saban with a bad taste in his mouth - again, we have no idea - but it's never a bad idea to get on the same page with your head man before taking another job. And second, know what you're signing before inking the bottom line on your next contract.