LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles and Texas A&M Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin will reportedly both give depositions as part of LSU’s lawsuit against former defensive coordinator John Chavis, per the Advocate‘s Ross Dellenger.
Chavis, whom the Aggies hired ahead of the 2015 season, filed a lawsuit against both LSU and Texas A&M in February 2015 regarding the buyout clause in his contract with LSU.
A Texas judge threw out Chavis’ lawsuit in August 2015, citing a jurisdictional problem, yet he and LSU remain embroiled in a legal dispute. According to Dellenger, the school is looking to recoup $400,000 as part of his move to Texas A&M. Chavis and the Aggies, meanwhile, argue he didn’t start working for the school until after he gave his required 30-day notice to LSU about taking a new job.
NOLA.com’s Ron Higgins reported Chavis’ since-dismissed suit said he gave the Tigers his resignation on Jan. 5, 2015, and then stopped being paid by the school on Feb. 4. That time frame would nullify the need for Chavis or A&M to pay the buyout.
However, Higgins noted Chavis may have been working for the Aggies earlier than he said:
Yet, there are pictures of Chavis wearing Texas A&M gear while recruiting that hit the Internet Jan. 15 and Jan. 23. In the Jan. 23 photo, Chavis, dressed in a Texas A&M coaching pullover, is giving the camera two “thumbs up” while flanking Northeast Oklahoma Jr. College cornerback Justin Martin along with Aggies’ defensive back coach Terry Joseph. Martin, ironically, ended up signing with Tennessee where Chavis was D-coordinator from 1995-2008 before coming to LSU.
The caption of the picture, which first appeared on a Facebook site called Juco Football Frenzy (which apparently no longer exists), reads, “Justin Martin was just visited by Texas A&M D Coord John Chavis & DB coach Terry Joseph.”
In December 2015, Chavis’ attorney, Jill Craft, argued an admission by LSU that it made “nominal” alterations to his contract in 2012 hurts the school’s standing in terms of pursuing the buyout, per Dellenger:
It’s exactly what coach has been saying all along, that the contract was altered after he signed it in 2012. You can’t alter a contract and try to claim it’s valid, and you certainly can’t sue over it. One of the things they did admit that was altered was the buyout provision. In some sense, it’s vindication.
Dellenger didn’t specify when Miles and Sumlin will give their depositions in the case but wrote they’re scheduled for later this month.
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Source: Bleacher Report CFB