Unless there's more in the contract I haven't seen, I agree that LSU would have a very hard time upholding an argument in court that the above language applies to anything other than a firing directly for cause. I wonder if the Chancellor truly understood the question.
Les Miles current contract features a buyout of $3.75 million per year times the number of years left on the deal. Yesterday, The Baton Rouge Advocate wrote that Miles’ contract ran through 2012. Actually, it runs through 2014 and an extension to the deal — as of yet unsigned — is expected to take the pact through 2017.
But that jackpot buyout might not be part of the picture moving forward.
Glenn Guilbeau of Gannett Louisiana writes that because of the NCAA’s recent findings against Miles’ program — the Tigers will spend a year on probation due to major violations involving Akiem Hicks and DJ McCarthy — the school could fire Miles without giving him a big buyout.
His current deal states:
“University may terminate this agreement for cause. Cause for this purpose shall mean a finding or determination by the NCAA of one or more major, significant or repetitive violations by Coach. All compensation, including salary benefits and other renumeration set forth in this contract incidental to Coach’s employment cease upon termination, other than the compensation owed Coach for services performed by Coach prior to termination.”
When asked about the buyout, LSU chancellor Michael Martin said, “NCAA violations would negate the buyout.”
The Miles’ situation — if Guilbeau’s interpretation is correct… and we assume it is — would be unique. In most cases, when a school fires a coach over major violations it does so immediately. In Miles’ case, Guilbeau suggests that the buyout has already been rendered moot by the violations. So even if LSU keeps its coach now and decides to fire him three years down the road for win/loss issues, school officials will still be able to point to the NCAA findings of 2011 as a reason not to fork over that $3.75 million buyout.
Gotta wonder if Miles’ attorney agrees with that interpretation.