Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ole Miss/Memphis Contract Update

Eli Savoie played Kojak today and got a peek at the actual football contract between the University of Memphis and Ole Miss. Here's his account. There's not much I can add to that, as I have not seen the contract myself. I know Michael Wallace is a first-class reporter who spoke directly with Pete Boone, and I know that Pete Boone looked directly at his contract when talking with Michael, and told him that the contract expired in 2007. Apparently he did not look at or have a copy of the addendum.

Addenda are in no way uncommon in any form of business, be it collegiate sports or marketing or anything else, for that matter. Provided they are agreed upon and signed by both parties, they are legally binding. In this case, with Eli having seen with his own eyes the addedum to this particular deal, I would have to say Pete Boone is misinformed. To have an athletic director be misinformed on an issue that is this important to the program is disconcerting--I realize that Pete Boone was not the AD when this addendum was agreed to, but that should have no bearing at all on his awareness of its existence.

So, if a representative from Ole Miss has signed this addendum, it's a done deal. The miscommunication within the Ole Miss athletic department needs to be taken care of, and quickly. It's pretty embarrassing to be unaware of a contractual agreement.

To summarize: the Ole Miss/Memphis football contract runs through 2011 (due to an addendum signed by both schools in 2000)--the buyout for either party is another source of disagreement, but it is at least $200,000, and could be as much as $1 million. I will repeat what I wrote earlier (and said this morning on the show): Ole Miss is not interested at this point in buying out the series. It has not been seriously discussed.

Thanks to University of Memphis Associate AD for External Affairs Bob Winn for helping to clear some of this up--and nice job, Kojak!

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