Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis is suing his current employer and his former employer because of a dispute involving his pay at LSU.
Yes, Chavis is suing Texas A&M. The Aggies are involved in the lawsuit because of what Chavis says is A&M's possible obligation to pay part of what he says he doesn't owe to LSU.
Chavis claims under his contract, he was given a right to terminate his employment agreement with LSU without cause with 30 days notice. 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.
On January 2, 2015, Chavis claims LSU Director of Athletics Joe Alleva demanded that Chavis pay the university $400,000. On January 5, Chavis says he turned in this 30-day notice to terminate the contract without cause, making his last day February 4.
"Based on Chavis' notice of termination on January 5, 2015, the 'termination date' according to the Amendment was effective thirty days after the written notice served to LSU or (sic) February 4, 2015, which falls within the 11th month remaining on Chavis' Employment Agreement," reads the suit. According to Chavis, he does not owe LSU $400,000 as a result.
According to the suit cited in KBTX's report, A&M feels that it doesn't owe anything to LSU because of Chavis' reasoning. From the Houston Chronicle:
“You can’t decide someone else’s (issues) without them being present to speak for themselves,” Chavis' attorney Bill Youngkin told the Chronicle.
Asked if that meant A&M was in “cooperation” regarding the lawsuit, Youngkin responded, “I wouldn’t say ‘cooperation.’ They have a contract with coach Chavis to provide his obligations (from) the LSU contract. They will be responsible for that – if there are any.”
Chavis' contract at LSU was scheduled to expire at the conclusion of 2015.
"Late Friday afternoon, amid an ongoing dialogue between LSU and former LSU football defensive coordinator John Chavis, LSU received notice that Chavis has sued LSU in Texas state court," an LSU statement said. "The lawsuit, which was filed in Brazos County, Texas, concerns Chavis' early termination of his employment contract with LSU."
"The state of Texas is not a proper venue to decide a contractual dispute between Louisiana State University and one of its former coaches, and LSU will pursue immediate dismissal of Chavis' suit. LSU has also initiated a legal action against Chavis in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to recover the $400,000 buy-out owed to LSU by Chavis. LSU regrets that what is ordinarily a simple matter must be resolved in litigation, but it will vigorously defend the contractual and constitutional rights of the University."
Dr. Saturday first reported that Chavis would be hired at Texas A&M on Dec 31, 2014, days before Chavis said he turned his resignation in to LSU in the lawsuit. Counting 30 days from Dec. 31 to Jan. 30 would still leave Chavis with over 11 months on his contract.
According to the Advocate, which says Chavis joined Texas A&M four days before Jan. 5, the letter Alleva sent Chavis offered two different ways of paying the $400,000 buyout and he was to select an option by Jan. 16.
Chavis has two options in paying the $400,000 buyout, Alleva writes in the letter: in one lump sum or in monthly installments “over a period of time equal to the amount of time remaining on the agreement.”
“As there are 12 months remaining on the contract, the monthly payment option is $33,333.33 per month due by the last day of each month, with the first payment due on January 31, 2015,” Alleva wrote.
Chavis was at LSU for six seasons before replacing Mark Snyder at Texas A&M. The Aggie defense was ranked No. 103 in the country in 2014.
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