Michael Lyons joins Legal 123s hosts Michael Byrd and Brad Adatto to discuss his success in handling contract disputes for prominent college football coaches, including his win involving former University of Kansas head football coach David Beaty.
In it, Lyons details how Beaty was terminated without cause by former KU Athletic Director, Jeff Long, who withheld the remaining $3 million of Beaty’s contract under false allegations of NCAA violations involving non-countable coaches. The lawsuit ultimately resulted in a $2.55 million payout for Beaty.
“As the dollar value continues to rise, particularly on major Power Five NCAA football coaches’ [contracts], the stakes get higher and things get nastier. The need for trial lawyers to come in and help becomes even more important,” Lyons said about his involvement in the case.
On a broader scale, Lyons further expands upon pitfalls employers are using in contracts to nullify guaranteed payouts for terminated executives. He urges executives and their lawyers to be cognizant of areas in their contracts that may be “squishy” or grey on what constitutes misconduct to avoid paying money under an executive compensation contract.
“It comes up a lot of the time with morality clauses...anything that would bring ‘public embarrassment’ to the institution. Anything like that in your contract, make sure you have an out.”
Hosted by attorneys Michael Byrd and Brad Adatto, the Legal 123s podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other streaming platforms.