Coaching Contract Lessons from Miami and Al Golden

As the fallout from the Yahoo! Sports report on widespread NCAA violations at the University of Miami continues, an interesting and somewhat disturbing note came to light regarding Miami’s lack of candor with new head coach Al Golden. 

Miami, although aware of Nevin Shapiro’s allegations a year ago, said nothing to Golden when he was hired.  Golden, a rising star in the coaching ranks, had no idea that Miami was involved in this scandal, which spans nine years, implicates 72 players, and involves millions of dollars.

Golden had this to say:

“If they knew this was percolating, I believe they had a responsibility to tell me and to tell [athletic director] Shawn [Eichorst],” said Golden.

In fact, Miami may have had a legal duty to inform Golden of the allegations made by Shapiro, besides the fact that it would have been the right thing to do.  Nevertheless, Golden says that he is happy to be in Miami and appears willing to ride out the storm.   

What can coaches learn from this situation?

  1. Coaches should inquire as to whether the university is aware of any potential or existing NCAA violations or investigations before accepting a job. 
  2. Coaches should insist upon “reverse morals clauses” in their contracts which would permit the coach to terminate the contract if the university’s actions cause the coach embarassment, damage the coach’s reputation, or diminish the value of the job.
  3. Coaches should negotiate escape clauses for certain levels of NCAA sanctions resulting from violations that occurred before the coach was hired. 

Comments

  1. In my opinion, Al Golden should sue Miami, for failure to disclose pertinent information, which would or could affect his duties, as head coach at Miami.

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