MACTracking: Litigation and Losing

Another week, and a few more games where you already know a lot of what happened to the former MAC coaches because they're playing non-conference tilts against our own favorite squads. You already know that Jerry Kill returned to the sidelines and held out for a win against Don Treadwell's Miami squad, and that Butch Jones had another strong week as his Cincinnati Bearcats made kangaroo burgers out of an Akron squad that may not improve on last season's win total after all.

That being said, guess what we have this week - Turner Gill getting karmic backlash for beating NIU and...a Mike Haywood sighting! To the jump!



First to Gill. Most of us here at Hustle Belt were pretty shocked when the Jayhawks took down Dave Doeren and the Huskies. Not so much that NIU allowed 45 points, but that a Gill team was capable of that many points. Well, this past weekend was a gauntlet for Kansas, and they failed miserably. Paul Johnston's triple option may finally have made the transition from "developing" to "arrived," and this game was their statement to that end.

Tech QB Tevin Washington completed four passes for 164 yards and two scores. The Jackets had 604 yards rushing. They had a drive that made it to the KU seven yard line and resulted in a field goal - which was their second least productive drive of the game. Good thing Gill and his boys have this weekend off before they head home to face Texas Tech.

What's that? I made mention of Mike Haywood, didn't I? Yeah, he's suing the University of Pittsburgh for termination without just cause. According to the full details now, what actually happened is that Haywood was trying to visit his son at his estranged wife's house, she went to pull him away and he threw her off. Wether he caught her or she fell and hit a wheelbarrow seems to be up for debate.

His counsel's comment that Pitt knew about his domestic discord and hired him anyway is probably irrelevant, but their more important contractual argument is key. The contract states that if Haywood is fired "without just cause," he is owed $750,000 per annum (the $3.75 million he is asking for in the suit).

The debate, of course, is where just cause lies. Does a charge so simple as a domestic disturbance (one that is already known to be expunged in the future if Haywood avoids future incidence) give an administration the right to unilaterally decide a coach is unemployable? That's another contention of Haywood's suit, that Pitt never even asked his side of the story.

I personally feel that Haywood may have a point; Pitt should have done their due diligence and at least let Haywood tell his side of the story before they ignored it and fired him so that he wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on. We'll see where this winds up.

Stay tuned next week for: do Butchie's Bearcats keep rolling against NC State, just like Jerry's kids will against North Dakota State...is a bye week enough to prevent Kansas from losing...and is Mike Haywood a bad man or just misunderstood - in the court's eyes?

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