College coaches-why bother with contracts?

We’ve had quite a decade of college coaches moving from school to school. Roy Williams from KU to Carolina, Bill Self from Tulsa to Illinois to KU, Mike Anderson from UAB to Mizzou, Gary Pinkel from Toledo to Mizzou, both John Beilein and Rich Rodriguez from West Virginia to Michigan, and now the whole Kentucky/Calipari/Memphis/Anderson/Georgia merry go round.

This didn’t happen when I was a kid. You knew where John Wooden, Joe B. Hall, Dean Smith, Bobby Knight, Norm Stewart, Jack Hartman and Denny Crum coached. In football, if someone asked you who coached at Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Alabama, Oklahoma or Nebraska, you knew because the coaches had been there forever.

Larry Brown was the first vagabond…moving around in the late 70’s, from pro to college to pro to college.

In football, Jimmy Johnson jumped from Oklahoma State to Miami after the 1983 season. Lou Holtz moved from Arkansas to Minnesota the same year.

Now, that happens all the time. The contracts of college coaches aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Why even bother? Give the coach a memorandum of employment with how much he’s going to get, and that’s it. Because he’s not going to honor that contract if he’s successful, and if you fire him…like Kentucky did with Billy Gillespie…he’s going to ask for his buyout even if he never signs the deal.