Blog Entry

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

Posted on: May 27, 2009 7:50 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2009 7:54 pm
 

In the end, this will be settled out of court.

I would bet $6 million on it.

But either way, I must tell you that it's difficult to watch Billy Gillispie file a lawsuit against the University of Kentucky and not wonder why he let it get to this point, why he didn't simply sign the contract to protect himself and ensure he'd be compensated appropriately. Obviously, Gillispie had his reasons, and I'm sure they made sense at the time. But those reasons have now put him in a position where he's having to sue to get the $6 million he believes he's owed, meaning the strategy has backfired in a potentially costly way.

Translation: Bad decision ... although Gillispie seems to have a decent gripe.

The Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that Gillispie worked under clearly states that a "termination without cause by the University" will "require a payment of $1.5 million per year for the remainder of the term of the contract, provided the payment for termination without cause [does] not exceed 48 months." That's worth noting because there are examples in the 24-page lawsuit (that can be read by clicking this link ) where Kentucky officials prevented Gillispie from doing things (among them, accepting unauthorized endorsement money) because they were in violation of the MOU, which might make it difficult for the school to now act as if the MOU never mattered. Take that option off the table, and UK is left trying to prove it fired Gillispie with cause. And though the opportunity to replace him with John Calipari, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins probably seems like sufficient cause to Kentucky fans, I'm not sure that rationale will hold up in a court of law.

In other words, Gillispie might be on the right side of this case.

But does he really want this to go to court?

Remember, Gillispie plans to get back into coaching, perhaps as soon as next year. And if he pushes this too far, UK will almost certainly focus on trying to show any and every way he didn't meet the terms of the MOU, real or otherwise, which could get ugly -- the type of ugly where Gillispie wins the lawsuit but in the process renders himself unhirable.

I think that's called winning the battle but losing the war.

So I guess what I'm saying is that Kentucky doesn't need this to go before a judge because it might lose, and Gillispie doesn't need this to go before a judge because he might damage his chances of getting another job. Thus, like I wrote at the top, I believe this will be settled out of court, eventually, and my guess is that Kentucky will pay more than it wants to pay, but Gillispie won't get as much as he wants to get.
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 4, 2009 6:28 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

Several examples would be Tennessee-Phillip Fulmer, Florida-Ron Zook, UNC-Matt Dohertey, Notre Dame-Tyrone Willingham, New York Jets-Eric Mangini, and the list can go on and on.Absolutely.  And there's almost always a compensation package involved.

Like I said, I'd have fired him too.  I'd just expect to pay him because I don't think I could meet the legal definition of cause.  In principle it works great - don't produce and go away.  In the courtroom and in reality it doesn't work that way at all, not when there are contracts (in this case, in the form of an MOU) involved.  It's simply different than basic at-will employment.



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 4, 2009 5:04 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

I dont know and i wont pretend to know the legal definition of "cause", but it would seem to me that as a coach losing and not improving the team you coach would be all the cause needed for firing.  Look around at every sport wether it collegiate or professional and it happens all the time.  Several examples would be Tennessee-Phillip Fulmer, Florida-Ron Zook, UNC-Matt Dohertey, Notre Dame-Tyrone Willingham, New York Jets-Eric Mangini, and the list can go on and on. 

Simply put a coach is hired for one purpose and that is to win and improve the the program/team in which he coaches.  Unfortunately for Billy Gillispie he did not win enough and he certainly did not improve Kentucky, they actually got worse, there for he was fired.  Legally speaking or not I truly dont know of any more reason you would need to fire a coach, other than the fact that he did not do what he was hired to do.




Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2009 12:36 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

My point of the post being is that he was not fired with out cause, he was fired because he did not meet their standards and expectations as coach on or off the court. Agreed.  I'm saying that from a legal standpoint, and I think this is what the article supports, is that poor performance doesn't meet the legal definition of "cause".  If I understand it right (and I could be wrong) the university would have to demonstrate how Gillespie harmed the university in some manner other than by losing games.  If they exist, they could probably bring recruiting violations, personal behavior damaging the schools image (though tough to prove), etc. into that argument.

I think we're on the same page - it just comes down to whether losing games supports firing for cause.  I don't think it does, but it's been a long time since I took any pre-law classes, so I could definitely be wrong.



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 3, 2009 8:55 am
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

We must be reading the report differently, because i have not read where the money they owe him is part of a compensation package for him being fired.  What i have read is that is what they owe him if he was fired with out cause.  My point of the post being is that he was not fired with out cause, he was fired because he did not meet their standards and expectations as coach on or off the court.  Anyone with eyes and a television can see that he did a miserable job coaching Kentucky, and they seemingly won games inspite of his coaching.  Also, from what i have heard he wasnt exactly a good representation of the University when he was off the court.  Those two reasons are why Billy G is no longer the coach at kentucky, and that should be all the reasons they need.

Now to your point of compensation.  If it is written somewhere that he is owed compensation then the man deserves the money owed and i will not argue that point.  However as i previously said, the way i have read it, it is not a compensation, but money owed as a result of being fire with out cause, which doesnt seem to be the case.




Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 2, 2009 9:02 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

Seriously, it doesnt matter if your making $5.00/hour flipping hamburgers or 5 million coaching basketball, if you do not meet your employers standards and expectations that should be all the grounds needed for termination. This might be right in principle, but it's awfully naive.  There are few senior executives who work without first negotiating a compensation package in the event they quit or get fired.  And college basketball is nothing if not big business.  It's standard operating procedure and the MOU makes it well beyond the at-will employment flipping hamburgers where they don't have to give any reason for firing you.

Kentucky knew Gillespie's teams might not meet their expectations when they hired him and both parties operated under the MOU.  They now have the burden of legally proving cause or paying him what they agreed to - $1.5M for the four remaining years of the contract.  Not $3M and buy his house.  Any way you slice it, that' s a rip-off of $3M.  It's his house to sell to ANYONE or to stay in.  Period.  The house is not part of the MOU and it's nothing more than the university's attempt to save $2M by buying it from him and reselling it to get their money back.  So they're offering half of what they put in the MOU.  None of this means he shouldn't have been fired - it just means the school is obligated to accept their mistake and honor their commitment.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 2, 2009 8:40 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

Basically, if you hired a new man and your results got worse..........what are you going to do?Fire him.  And if I included a compensation package in the event he was fired, pay him.



Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: June 2, 2009 7:26 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

see what happens KY. tubby was just fine. But he was black. So you didn't like him. And yes that was the reason. Why else would you get rid of a coach that won 25 games a year. How many of his guys are in the NBA? So he could recruit. And don't pull that crap about winning a National Title with pitino players. Not one of those players on that 1998 team even played on the 1996 team. And they didn't win a title in 1997. So TUBBY won the title. But you thought some second rate coach from texas A&M was better.


well you are right we didnt win a title in 97.. we only made the championship game give me a break dude.. im not saying it wasnt tubby because his coaching the whole year got us to that point but rick would have done the same...


another thing look at the 96 roster then look at the 98 roster...

96:

#00GSr.6-1193Brownsville, TN (Haywood)#24FSo.6-8224Chicago, IL (Mount Carmel)#40FSr.6-11230Evansville, IN (Harrison)#23GJr.6-6194Louisville, KY (Doss)#33FFr.6-7210Nashville, TN (Goodpasture Christian [Oak Hill, Mouth of Wilson (VA)])#41CSr.6-10235Bellevue, WA (Newport)#25GJr.6-2182Lebanon, KY (Marion County)#15GJr.6-4189Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)#5GFr.6-2190Boston, MA (Beaver Country Day)#32FRed6-9235Fairmont, WV (Fairmont West)#3G-FSo.6-5205Miami, FL (Miami Senior)#13CFr.6-10238Chicago, IL (Kenwood)#51FFr.6-8218Nashville, TN (Lipscomb)#21GSo.6-3181Lexington, KY (Dunbar)#43

 98:

#15GSr.6-4189Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)#13CJr.6-10238Chicago, IL (Kenwood)#34Scott PadgettFJr.6-9240Louisville, KY (St. Xavier)#5GJr.6-2190Boston, MA (Beaver Country Day)#3G-FSr.6-5205Miami, FL (Miami Senior)#14Heshimu EvansFJr.6-6215Bronx, NY (Evander Childs)#42Jamaal MagloireCSo.6-10260Toronto, ON (Eastern Commerce)#21GSr.6-3181Lexington, KY (Dunbar)#11Saul SmithGFr.6-2175Athens, GA (Clarke Central)#33Michael BradleyCFr.6-10235Worcester, MA (Burncoat)#25Myron AnthonyFFr.6-7225Neptune Beach, FL (Fletcher)#22Ryan HoganGFr.6-3193Deerfield, IL (Deerfield)#4Steve Masiello

as you can see there were 5 players from the 96 team that were still on the 98 team.. good try on making up that "fact" though

but as to the NBA players that Tubby recruited well that i can recall he has 6 players in the NBA Prince on the pistons rondo on the celtics hayes on the rockets azubuike on the warriors bogans on the magic and morris on the knicks im not sure you can count him though lol
and then i will say meeks will be so most likely 7players that he recruited are in the NBA but IMO he wasnt a good recruiter.. and i think  he lost a lot of support when Lofton went to UT after being Kentucky Mr.Basketball and he did so well against us
sorry for the bold idk why but it wont let be get it unbold




Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: June 2, 2009 6:50 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

Can we please get beyond the racist crap! Your thought process is convoluted if you really believe what you wrote here. Tubby was not fired. He quit. Big difference. And the reason he quit was as most everyone knows (except for you) is UK's nepotism rules. So get over yourself. It wasn't the neo-nazi, klu klux klan that ran Tubs off. He was well respected and well liked in his tenure here. I bet you think the Rebel flag represents slavery too don't you cardsbdiddy.

As far as the statement that Tubby was a so-so recruiter, well I have to disagree with that statement as well. Tubby is an excellent recruiter. One of the best when he chooses to recruit at the top. That's another misnomer in my opinion that was given to Tubby. He can recruit with anyone when he chooses too. Problem is he doesn't want to coach the prima donna players.

But as far as Billy G. It is what it is. He brought alot of this on himself by not signing that contract. Carried it around for two years in his brief case. Didn't perform his job duties. And what he did try to do he failed miserably at. Seems like grounds for termination for me? I mean if I didn't do my job well I'd be fired. How about you? If you showed up for work in the tank how would your employer handle it? I'd be fired on the spot....I'm just saying.

What if you broke your companies harrassment policy's? Want to discuss that? What if you questioned a subordinates sexual orientation in front of other workers in a group meeting? Repeatedly harrasses certain workers? You think you'd be employed very long? I doubt it. Doesn't matter if you make five dollars an hour, 15, 50, or 1.5 million a year....you do those things and people are going to question your employment.

And no to answer your question many of us did not think a second rate coach was better than Tubby. But Tubby left us. Barnhart tried to hire Donovan and he didn't want it. Then he asked Rick Barnes. Which he wasn't interested either. Bottom line nobody wanted to follow a future hall of fame coach at UK. And as far as scandals go worry about your own damn coach. So who's the idiot.



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 2, 2009 4:04 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

Legally speaking, what is cause for him to be fired? 

Ok, he didnt cheat, or miss practice/games. and he didnt steal.  But what he did do is fail to meet his employers (UK) standards and expectations and that should be all the cause they need.  I dont know about you but if i dont meet my employers standards and expectations, much like Billy G, i will be looking for another job.



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 2, 2009 3:51 pm
 

A signed contract sure does make things simpler

Here is a simple question. 

When did not meeting your employers standards and expectations stop being enough cause for termination?

I dont know about the rest of you but as an employee if i dont meet my employers standards and expectations my employment will be terminated.  Seriously, it doesnt matter if your making $5.00/hour flipping hamburgers or 5 million coaching basketball, if you do not meet your employers standards and expectations that should be all the grounds needed for termination.  Not to mention if you have a questionable reputation away from the job.  Unfortunatly for Billy Gillispie, he happened to meet both the criteria i just mentioned.  First, along with his poor coaching decisions he lead Kentucky to one of their worst seasons in many years.  Secondly his coaching style and how he handled the players left many of them wanting to transfer or leave school early.  Finally to top it all off he wasnt exactly the best representative for Kentucky of the court.



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