July 09, 2009
There's the classic Seinfeld plot wherein George Costanza, having just been outed as a more or less able-bodied employee by a boss who initially assumed George had a bum leg, moves heaven and earth to keep showing up to "work" every day for the entire length of his contract -- even after the company goes out of its way to make his day a living hell and finally offers to pay him half of his promised sum if he would just go away. As George explains it: "If I stay the whole year, I get it all."
Costanza is an inspiration to us all, but to one man especially: Ex-San Diego State coach Chuck Long, summarily fired last November after the Aztecs' third losing straight season, whose continued presence on campus eight months later has led the university to take desperate and expensive measures to ensure Long's removal (emphasis added):
San Diego State is paying an outside consultant $125 per hour to work out a settlement with former football coach Chuck Long, according to a copy of the contract obtained this week by The San Diego Union-Tribune.
SDSU hired [Dan] Kelley to mediate a way out of Long's contract, which ensures him $715,900 per year through Dec. 31, 2010. Long was fired as football coach in November, but his contract guarantees him his full salary while continuing work at the university. Since he was fired, Long has kept office hours on campus doing "projects and analysis."
His contract is unusual in that it contains a clause saying he is entitled to no further compensation once he lands a new job. In effect, this creates an incentive for Long to stay at SDSU because no other likely job would pay him nearly as much.
That's a quality dig by inverted pyramid standards: "No other likely job," because Long has almost no chance of landing another major head coaching gig in the foreseeable future. But what Long lacks in prospects, he more than makes up for in spiteful savvy: The former Heisman runner-up is milking not only his former employer for the full length of a contract for services he's no longer required to perform, but also forcing SDSU to pony up for special counsel's whose entire job description is "Get Chuck Long out of our hair." That's a gambit even Frank Costanza would appreciate. (Though he's still no Lloyd Braun.)
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Hat tip: The Wiz.