Sunday, April 23, 2017

Former football coach sues JSU.

Former Jackson State University Coach Harold Jackson sued his former employer in Hinds County Circuit Court Wednesday for employment discrimination.  Mr. Jackson claimed JSU discriminated against him and breached his contract when it fired him for having a losing record of 6-11 in 2015.  The school hired him in 2014 after firing Coach Rick Comegy. The school paid him a salary of $260,000 -a $60,000 increase over Coach Comegy's salary. 



Mr. Jackson argues his contract did not expire until January 12, 2017.  However, the contract does have a buyout provision.  The complaint states:

 16. Central to this  dispute  is provision  2.1 of  the Employment  Agreement, which states, "This agreement shall be for a term of three (3) years, from January 13, 2014, through January 12, 2017, with a buyout clause of $65,000.00 OR a figure negotiated and agreed upon by both parties if terminated earlier by the University.
JSU gave Mr. Jackson a $65,000 check when it fired him.  However, the fired coach refused to take the money:


19.  Plaintiff declined to accept the proverbial thirty pieces of silver in the form of a $65,000.00 payment because he is entitled to the remainder of his salary throughout January 12, 2017, pursuant to the terms of his Employment Agreement, and the policies and practice of the IHL in its dealings with its other employees who are Head Football Coaches. Consequently, the Plaintiff is entitled to be compensated at a minimum, for the value of the remainder of his Employment Agreement, in the amount of $329,808.22.
The complaint tries to tie Mr. Jackson's contract to other contracts for Mississippi college football coaches that were approved by IHL.  He cites the buyout clauses of the "Big 3" head coaching contracts as evidence of the discrimination.  They all have some variation of a clause that states the school will pay the remaining salary due under the contract.   He says that IHL extends contracts to white head coaches that are "far more lucrative" than those extended to black head coaches (KF: Um, they are Division I-A coaches, the SWAC coaches are coaching at the Division I-AA level.)

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Bill Gowan.   Attorney John C. Hall, II represents Mr. Jackson.


Kingfish note: Mr. Jackson surely does not want to be judged by his pitiful record.  He took over a program that went to the SWAC Champeenship game for two consecutive years and promptly ran it under the ground with a 6-11 record.  He was 1-4 when he was fired halfway into his second season.  JSU gave up 47 points per game during his last season.  The team was going in the wrong direction with no turnaround in sight.

He had never been a head coach in his career.  There is no way a white coach would have been hired at JSU with a resume as weak as Jackson's.  If anything, "Coach" Jackson was given preferential treatment when he was hired because he damn sure wasn't qualified for head football coach at Jackson State University.  Where else could an unproven newly-hired head coach get $60,000 more money than the winning coach he replaced? JSU was also under no obligation to negotiate a buyout offer with him.  The contract gave JSU the option to pay a predetermined amount of money or negotiate. It decided to write a check.  Good luck with this lawsuit in court. 
 
Just curious. What was Sylvester Croom's buyout clause at Mississippi State and why wasn't it mentioned in the lawsuit?



18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like Mr. Jackson will be adding to his list of losses soon.

Surprised he found an attorney that would take this case.

Anonymous said...

@12:26: He has already won. This case is not about damages. It is a political statement.

Anonymous said...

Certainly Harold Jackson had no business being hired in the first place. he had good reason to believe he was a favorite son and his dear ole alma mater would extend the favoritism to him it has shown to so many others for various and questionable reasons. When he was fired unceremoniously he was deeply hurt and embarrassed to the point where he wants to make a statement. What Harold did not understand from the beginning is that JSU is and has been run by the most classless bunch of opportunists who ever set pen to paper and that his treatment came with the territory, alma mater or not. Walter Payton knew it and a lot of other JSU victims know it. He should do like the presidents and the rest of the JSU "leadership" do...take what you can and run.

Anonymous said...

4:39, you may be correct in all your assessment - but it doesn't overcome the fact that he had a contract with terms. JSU followed those terms. His butt crack hurt so he runs to the courts and hollers "discrimination". The fact that there was none doesn't matter; the terms of the contract doesn't matter; so he finds a lawyer that would take the ridiculous case. You think the courts are there to respond to being embarressed?

Anonymous said...

Black leadership at a historically black institution hires a black man to replace another black man to run a predominantly black program attended by mostly black fan base. Same black leadership that hired black man decide to fire black man for lack of results and subsequently hire another black man to run black program. Fired black man claims he is not treated like white men and he wants to be paid for the alleged mistreatment.

Only in the SWAC.

Anonymous said...

Did he read the contract before he accepted the position?? Classic case of a "Man-Baby"

Anonymous said...

@6:34 you are 110% correct !!!

Anonymous said...

Was someone holding a gun to this guy's head when he signed his contract?

Anonymous said...

10:37; That's a good question and the answer is 'perhaps'. Don't forget, the contract was signed in the City Limits Of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

What does he think he can get? That previous President emptied the JSU bank accounts in record time.

Anonymous said...

All he has to do is go 5-7, and they will gladly pay him over $4 million per year.

PittPanther said...

White guy used to coach alcorn, then moved to southern miss. Should be easy to find his alcorn contact and view his buyout terms.

If we find out his contact would pay him for the duration even if fired, that's going to be a problem for IHL.

Anonymous said...

So in his world, every chemistry professor who works for a state school signed the exact same contract as every other chemistry professor regardless, of experience, degrees, research, publications, or awards. Same for English professors, School presidents, and janitors.
Wow. Who knew?

PittPanther said...

12:41pm, your example would not be a problem. However, imagine if every female chemistry professor was paid 25% less than comparable make chemistry professors? And the difference was consistent in every school? That would be a problem for IHL.

Anonymous said...

5:24 If you were to try to make a case about race and coaches you are looking at a small sample size. I think you would have to go back a few years to increase the sample size and when you do that and bring in Croom, Rod Barnes, Rick Ray, etc. He's not going to have a case. For instance - compare his coaching resume with Mullen. Mullen was OC for two national championship teams. You won't find a head football coach with the kind of resume that Jackson has at one of the big three schools. If you found one at say Alcorn, and he was black, that would not prove discrimination. I guess that leaves Delta State. I don't think Delta State has hired a coach with that bad a resume either. Seems like he has no chance to prove this because he can't find a white coach with a resume as bad as his.

Anonymous said...

New math: 5 - 7 = 4,000,000 per year (and adulation by your dumbass fans if you convince them next year is THE year)

Anonymous said...

Guess what, Sideliner at 9:55...."Next Year" WAS the year at 9-4. And seven bowl games in a row. Put that in your Bong, Laramie.

Anonymous said...

Harold Jackson! Please take several seats! At the beginning and end of any day, you UNFORTUNATELY were head football coach at my beloved alma mater and you actually should be paying the season tickets holders back their money for such "sucky" seasons headed by you! You should come out of your pocket and pay them for even showing up to see you lose games, that even with the sorriest of teams, should have WON!!! Sir, have a stadium full of seats!

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