Friday, December 28, 2007

Contract issues concerning former West Virginia University football coach

Bloomberg reports: Alex Macia, vice president for legal affairs at West Virginia University [WVU], said in a telephone interview that comments saying the contract [between WVU and Coach Rodriguez] wasn't valid were made by people who said they spoke for former football coach Rich Rodriguez and that he didn't contradict those statements.

"If he believes he's bound by the contract, we'd certainly welcome the payment of one-third of the buyout," Macia said. "That would go a long way toward resolving this lawsuit."

The suit says that the Morgantown-based school fulfilled its newest obligations under Rodriguez's contract, including a $100,000 increase in assistant coaches' salaries and improvements to the football team's headquarters. Rodriguez, who signed a new deal in August after turning down an offer from Alabama in December 2006, never notified university officials in writing of any breach of the contract, which the agreement required, the suit said. It added that Rodriguez never received permission to speak with Michigan officials.

IPBiz notes that Rodriguez was not the first choice at the University of Michigan. Further, Rutgers coach Schiano decided to stay put.

Could a suit against the University of Michigan be next?


Karen Kiley of WBOY interviewed lawyer Drew Capuder who noted the following:

"Its a simple complaint in that it focuses on the buy-out clause on the second amendment of last year," said Drew Capuder.

The buy-out clause is for $4 Million, to be paid by Rich Rodriguez personally if he leaves West Virginia University before August 2008.

"They're suing for that $4 Million, claiming WVU did everything it was required to do under contract and the coach left for no good reason other than the fact the coach got a better offer," explained Caputer.

"They [WVU] will probably argue that this is a WVU matter for WV courts to decides it's a contract between coach and university so the state courts to be the appropriate venue to decide dispute," explained Caputer.
The case can only become a Federal case if Rodriguez is no longer a resident of West Virginia, a fact the University maintains, and Rodriguez will likely dispute.

[IPBiz note: that is WVU will maintain Rodriguez IS a WV resident, so that there could not be diversity jurisdiction under federal law.]


Of the "big bucks" associated with college football, note the following from

It's a well-kept secret that amid all the festivity, bowl games rarely pay for cost of the schools attending them. According to a recent Orange County Register article, Florida and Ohio State each finished more than $600,000 in the red last year from travel expenses to the national title game. The PetroSun Independence Bowl's $1.1 million payout to each school might sound immense, but with the average program expenditure for a non-BCS bowl game sitting at $937,834, Alabama and Colorado will be fortunate to break even on games.


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