WAC tells Nevada, Fresno St. to cough up $5 million


Last Thursday, it was reported that Nevada sent a letter to the WAC informing them of their decision to leave for the Mountain West Conference following the 2010-2011 school year.  It was subsequently learned that Fresno State had sent essentially the same later.

Today, the conference said not so fast my friends.

In a press release issued by the WAC, commissioner Karl Benson made it very clear that the league fully expects the two schools to both remain in the conference through the 2011-2012 school year and pay a $5 million penalty — each — for leaving the conference.  Here’s the full text of the conference’s release.

Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson announced today that Fresno State and the University of Nevada must pay $5 million each for failing to abide to a corporate resolution they both agreed to earlier this month that called for both to remain members of the WAC through June 30, 2016. Fresno State and Nevada announced on August 18 that they would join the Mountain West Conference. Both schools were notified on August 27 with a “demand for payment” letter and have 60 days from that date to make payment. The two schools are also required to compete in the WAC during the 2010-11 season and the 2011-12 season as neither school announced their decision to withdraw from the WAC prior to the June 30 deadline as required by WAC Bylaws. Both schools were also notified of this on August 27.

“The WAC fully expects to receive the $5 million from both Fresno State and Nevada and will take legal recourse if necessary to obtain the money,” said Benson. “As for the termination date, WAC Bylaws make it very clear that Fresno State and Nevada must remain in the WAC through the 2011-12 season unless the WAC authorizes an ‘early out.’ Fresno State and Nevada leaving the WAC following the 2010-11 season would cause irreparable financial harm to the remaining WAC members in terms of football scheduling and potential loss of revenue from television and bowl games. The damages that Hawai’i, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State would incur could exceed as much as $2 million per school.”

Nevada has previously claimed they never actually signed the “corporate resolution” and are thus not subject to the penalty.  It’s highly doubtful either school would pay the multi-million dollar penalty before the Oct. 26 deadline.

It goes without saying that the WAC is attempting to keep the two school in the conference as long as possible in order to find suitable replacements, something that’s likely necessary in order to hold on to any hope of getting BYU to move their non-football sports to the conference.  Given the stance of the two sides, this get even uglier in very short order.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.