Thursday, April 19, 2007
We recently reported on trends in college coaching contracts.
Like the animated mouse Savoir Raire, animated University of Toledo Law Professor Ben Daivis is everywhere, and so it is no surprise that he is also on the Contracts Profs Listserve helpfully providing a link to this interesting article about LSU's former basketball coach, Pokey Chatman. Professor Davis suggests some interesting parallels between this case and the Odorizzi v. Bloomfield School District case, included in some casebooks
According to ESPN, Ms. Chatman's attorney is claiming that she was forced out of her coaching position -- or, more accurately, given the Odorizzian choice between resignation and public humiliation -- based on allegations that Chatman had engaged in inappropriate sexual relations with former players. Chatman apparently had two years remaining on her contract and is seeking $900,000 in compensation. While the ESPN report is not entirely clear, it seems that Chatman renounced her right to that compensation in a resignation agreement, the enforceability of which is now subject to question. Chatman's attorney now claims that the resignation agreement was a "con," because Chatman's agreement was predicated upon representations that LSU had an "absolute zero tolerance" policy with respect to coach-player relationships. Chatman's lawyer now believes that no such zero tolerance policy exists -- or perhaps it's just unclear that it would extend to former players.