Breakups are never pretty.
Steve Alford, the UCLA coach who torpedoed a 10-year deal with New Mexico only days after signing the contract, now says he won’t pay the $1 million buyout.
He says he only owes $200,000, the buyout terms on his old contract, because his new deal didn’t go into effect until April 1, two days after he announced his resignation. But the school says Alford didn’t give the requisite 30 days notice on the old deal, so the new buyout terms apply.
That’s the amazing thing about hirings, firings and departures. The parties are so smiley when the coach signs, but bitter when it ends. Either the school ends up feeling fleeced or the coach feels the school didn’t give him time to build the program.
At BYU, former basketball coach Roger Reid said the school fired him unfairly and didn’t live up to its assurances. Jim Fassel called a press conference to complain about his firing at Utah. Ron McBride let reporters into his emotional farewell team meeting with the Utes so the news would be on TV.
Go down the list. One of the parties is always unhappy with the departure.
I’m thinking the best way to handle hirings in revenue sports from here on is just issue a news release. No press conference, no smiling photo-ops, no introducing the trim blonde wife and family, no professions of loyalty.
Just an announcement that a deal has been struck.
The breakup would that much less painful.