Archive for February, 2015

John Chavis suing LSU AND Texas A&M, LSU sues back

Surely, this must be the weirdest story out there today.

Texas A&M DC John Chavis is suing former employer LSU as well as his current employer Texas A&M over this new contract.

Chavis, who left LSU at the end of the season for College Station, where he replaced much harangued/awful defensive co-ordinator Mark Snyder, is suing LSU because the Baton Rouge school has asked Chavis for $400,000 which he claims he does not owe.

According to College Station TV station KBIX’s website, John Chavis was given the right to terminate his employment agreement with the Tigers “without cause with 30 days notice.” It added: “If there were between zero and 11 months left on the deal, Chavis claimed he would owe nothing to LSU, but if between 11 and 23 months were left, he would owe $400,000 to the university.

Here’s where it gets crazy. According to The Advocate, LSU AD Joe Alleva asked Chavis to give LSU $400,000, since his departure broke his contract before end-January 2015. “In the letter, Alleva writes that LSU is owed the buyout because Chavis broke his contract before Jan. 31, 2015,” The Advocate notes. ” Chavis’ deal did not have a buyout if he left during the last 11 months of the deal.

Chavis had an original agreement which extended his contract in Baton Rouge to the end of the 2015 season.

Now here’s where it gets strange. Chavis insists that he wasn’t within his contract when he walked to College Station, and therefore doesn’t owe the Tigers the money.

So where does this involve the Aggies? Oh, because “Texas A&M is currently obligated to satisfy or cause to be satisfied the liquidated damages, if any, associated with Chavis’ previous Employment Agreement with LSU…adding that the school is unwilling to tender the liquidated damages demanded by LSU because it does it does (sic) not believe that liquidated damages are called for under the Employment Agreement as mentioned above.

And the fun part is is that LSU has decided to sue Chavis for breach of contract, according to several tweets by Ross Dellenger of The Advocate. As well as the monies owed, LSU wants: “Damages caused from the reputational harm caused by Chavis’ conduct”, as well as compensation for the departure of other assistant coaches, loss of recruits and potential loss on ticket sales. And if they don’t get the buyout money, they want Chavis to support new DC Kevin Steele’s relocation, as well as lawyers’ fees for his deal.

Texas A&M has said: “There is not a dispute between Coach Chavis and Texas A&M. The University stands behind its commitment to Coach Chavis to pay any buyout to LSU. The issue is that Texas A&M disagrees with LSU that any buyout payment is due.

I don’t understand: Why did the SEC hit LSU with recruiting violations?

I’ve been looking at this for a while now, and I still can’t understand why LSU was hit with recruiting violations fines by the SEC.

According to the SEC, LSU prospect Matt Womack signed a financial aid agreement with the Tigers, only to back out of the deal, de-commit, and go to Alabama instead.

Because there had been an arrangement where recruits who signed a financial aid agreement with a school could be contacted by that school on an unlimited fashion (yeah, we’re confused right here!), LSU obviously contacted Womack heavily….and now he’s gone to Tuscaloosa, the SEC found that that contact had been illegal.

Illegal why? Because a financial aid agreement’s not the same as a National Letter of Intent, according to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate.

LSU’s was given a fine that meant 10% of its recruiting evaluation days were cut (according to public records picked by The Advocate, the paper says) for something it unknowingly did, meaning that the school loses 17 Spring days and 17 fall days, according to the paper. “During the same time, other schools can sign prospects to FAAs, thus receiving unlimited contact with them,” Dellenger noted. We’d like to add: “Eesh.”

MY TAKE: Sorry, is this LSU’s fault that Womack backed out of a deal and decided for Alabama? I blame Les Miles for a lot of things – including his crappy selections at quarterback over the last few years as well as his clock management – but no-one can blame LSU for this. This whole thing stinks of administrative screw-up from the SEC’s point-of-view, and Geaux Tigers are geuaxing to suffer from it.


Miami rats out Florida for recruiting violation, Gators win

The NCAA said today that Florida had been investigated for a recruiting violation involving former wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, but would not face sanctions.

Although the NCAA did not mention Phillips, it did note that a ‘former Florida assistant coach’ visited a Florida prospect off-campus before the NCAA rules allowed for contact, adding that the Gators had suspended the assistant coach in question (Phillips resigned in June, incidentally), and that the “corrective actions and penalties self-imposed by the school were appropriate and assigned no additional penalties or measures.

The full statement from the NCAA is here.

What is also interesting – and was noted in an Orlando Sentinel report, is that the NCAA’s investigation was prompted by the University of Miami informing the NCAA of its in-state rival’s violation.

Jeremy Foley, Florida’s AD said: “The University of Florida Athletic Association takes pride in the culture of compliance it has built over the years. Integrity is one of the core values of our organization – we act in a fair, ethical and honest manner and we strive to do things the right way every day. That is why we took quick and decisive action after we learned of a recruiting contact rule violation involving one of our assistant football coaches in January 2014. We stopped recruiting the involved student-athlete, we removed the assistant coach from all recruiting activities, and later secured his resignation.

OUR TAKE: What’s really interesting about the recruiting violation isn’t about the NCAA letting Florida off a Level II violation. Florida did what they had to do in suspending Joker Phillips – who probably would have been let go when new coach Jim McElwain replaced Will Muschamp  – and that was undoubtedly a good thing. What’s amused us is the fact that the University of Miami – formerly the cowboy kings of recruiting – were the ones who suddenly decided that honesty was the best policy and telling the good people at the NCAA that Florida was illegally trying to sign a recruit (who they wanted for themselves). To put it in kids’ terms: Miami told the teacher. And the teacher did nothing. So Florida has the last laugh. And the irony isn’t lost on Joker Phillips now getting a job with the Cleveland Browns as the wide receivers coach, bearing in mind that his receivers weren’t great at Florida this year (mostly thanks to crappy quarterbacking), and that Cleveland doesn’t know who their QB is, since one’s in rehab and one seems content to hit opposition secondary players, and their best wide receiver has just gotten himself banned for smoking weed. But there we go. Florida wins again.

Georgia, UNC to meet in 2016 Kick-Off Classic

Georgia and UNC are to meet in the 2016 Kick-Off Classic at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Obviously, it’s great news for the Dawgs for what will effectively be another home game, but it also does both parties’ strength-of-schedules of a favor as they go for a College Football Play-Off spot.

The game will be played September 3rd, 2016 in the Georgia Dome. This year’s Kick-Off Classic will feature Auburn and Louisville, which promises to be low on defense and heavy on points.

The last time both sides got together was 1971, with Georgia winning 7-3 in Jacksonville. Georgia’s on a four-game winning streak. The current series stands at 16-12-2.


LSU grabs Georgia WR coach

LSU has nabbed Georgia wide receivers coach Tony Ball, the school confirmed in a statement.

Ball had spent nine years at Georgia as running backs coach then wide receivers coach, and will take on one of the best wide receiving corps in the nation.

Ball comes in after LSU lost Adam Henry – the former player in that position – to the San Francisco 49ers. Henry coached Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry, who have both made excellent NFL rookies.

Unfortunately for LSU, one of the best wide receiving corps in the country came last season with two awful quarterbacks in Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris.

He’ll get a pay raise at LSU – he’s making $267,000 in Baton Rouge.


Roquan Smith commits to UGA

Roquan Smith has committed to being a Georgia Bulldog.

The Macon, GA linebacker had said that he was going to be going to UCLA at National Signing Day, but after the Pac-12 team’s defensive coordinator, Jeff Ulbrich, had lied to him about taking the Atlanta Falcons DC’s job, he decided to revisit his options.

He re-opened his commitments, looking at Georgia, UCLA, Michigan and Texas A&M, but eventually opted to play in the SEC.

As you could imagine it’s been tough lately,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a statement. “But I am relieved to say that I am officially committed to The University Of Georgia 100 percent.

Smith signed a financial aid agreement but not a letter of intent, which means that he can back out of his commitment with UGA before he comes to the school for summer school in June if any UGA coaches leave Athens for jobs elsewhere.

After losing offensive coordinator Mike Bobo in the offseason and hiring Brian Schottenheimer as his replacement from the NFL, Mark Richt will be praying that lightning doesn’t strike on his defensive side.


Why the SEC Network should make SEC Films

After the news of the tragic but long-awaited death of NFL Films’ creator Ed Sabol, we got thinking: We need SEC Films for the Southeastern Conference, ESPN.

Our stadiums are rammed every week with fanbases that sweat passion out of every orifice. We shake our shakers, scream our songs, and love our Tigers, Eagles, Bulldogs and Gators.

Our players are the best of the best. They would fly around the screen, either in offense and defense. And you know what? An awful lot of defensive players are going pro in something that’s called football. Our numbers of players going to the NFL are out of this world.

We want to see catches, tackles, quarterbacks with the fear of God in their eyes….or their eyes frozen with determination. We want to see the crush of the hit, the hit of ball against hand and a tremendous crash, and a crowd reacting as a player enters the end-zone.

It’s not like season-ending DVDs don’t happen. You may hate them, but Tennessee’s DVD about winning the 1998 National Championship team may be one of the best. We need more and more and more and more of these.

The SEC’s the best conference in the land. We now need the film service to prove that to the rest of the country…..and give our fans some memories after the season finishes!!

Not only that, but the SEC Network would get 14 good films to show not only on their network, but also on ESPN – particularly in the run-up to the college football season. Jeez….we’re excited just thinking about it.

LSU loses WRs coach to 49ers

LSU’s wide receivers coach Adam Henry has decided to return to the NFL, taking a job with the San Francisco 49ers as the team’s wide receivers coach.

Henry was in the job for two years after moving to Baton Rouge for five years with the Oakland Raiders, where he was offensive quality control coach and then tight ends coach.

Under his watch, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry were major difference-makers for the LSU and then in their rookie years in the NFL with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.

This is the latest coach to leave Les Miles this off-season after the LSU head coach lost long-term DC John Chavis to Texas A&M.

Henry is not the only position coach in the SEC to vault for the SEC. Florida’s defensive line coach Terrell Williams bolted for Miami just after National Signing Day, prompting CeCe Jefferson to delay his LOI to the Gators, and Arkansas’ running backs coach Joel Thomas has reportedly gone to New Orleans.

OUR TAKE: LSU will find another wide receivers coach pretty easily. But what is it about position coaches leaving for other jobs just after National Signing Day? 

SEC Spring Game calendar

As first revealed by Saturday Down South, here is the diary for SEC Spring Games:

March 21: Vanderbilt

April 11: Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina

April 18: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri

April 25: Arkansas, Tennessee

Kentucky was forced to cancel its Spring Game due to renovations at Commonwealth Stadium, while Texas A&M will not hold a Spring Game due to renovations at Kyle Field (same as 2014).

Arkansas loses RB coach to New Orleans Saints

Arkansas has lost its running backs coach Joel Thomas to the New Orleans Saints, it has been reported.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Thayer Evans tweeted the news first, saying: “Arkansas RBs coach Joel Thomas has accepted same job w/ New Orleans Saints per sources.

Last year Arkansas was 24th in the nation in rushing offense, running for 2,834 total yards (218 yards per game). The running game – led by RBs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams – ran for around 5 yards per rush and 31 touchdowns.

The news comes just a few weeks after Thomas signed a contract extension with the school worth $280,000 per season.



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