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Hey NCAA Coaches, Leaving Your Job Might Get You Sued

This is going to be brief, because I have better things to do than talk about absurdities like this, but it's getting a lot of attention and deserves to be discussed.

According to Kyle Veazy at the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, John Calipari and Derrick Rose agreed to pay a settlement after some "ticketholders" threatened to sue them:

Calipari and Rose, according to the settlement agreement obtained Thursday by The Commercial Appeal, agreed on May 28, 2010, to pay a total of $100,000 to the three attorneys -- Martin Zummach, Frank L. Watson III and William Burns -- who were representing, in the agreement's words, "certain ticket holders." The amount was to be disbursed "as they agree among themselves."

Calipari, who left Memphis after the 2008-09 season for the University of Kentucky, also agreed to donate his bonus to the U of M scholarship fund. The agreement approximated the value of the bonus at $232,000.

Rose, who has starred the last three seasons for the NBA's Chicago Bulls, was also to "consider ... making a suitable donation" to the scholarship fund sometime before 2015.

Why?  Who the heck knows?  If I'd been Coach Cal, I would have asked them to attempt an anatomically improbable act and look forward to seeing them in court.  But for whatever reason, he decided it was worth 100 g's plus his bonus (which is a much more legitimate thing to return since you could say he didn't earn it as far as the NCAA was concerned).  If you ask me, this was little more than legalized extortion.

To be fair, it's pretty easy to burn through $100,000 in a court case that actually goes to court.  I frankly doubt this would have survived the most trivial motion to dismiss, but having not seen any pleadings, I couldn't say for sure.  I suspect Calipari just wanted to be quits with his whiny old city and move on, and it was worth the money just to get rid of the aggravation.  $100k is a lot to you and me, probably, but in the context of a 30+ million dollar deal, it's pretty much a rounding error.

Eamonn Brennan at ESPN has more, as does Gary Parrish at CBS.  Parrish's apologia for Rose strikes me as beyond absurd.