2016 continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for Georgia Southern fans.
After a disastrous season under now former offensive coordinators David Dean and Rance Gillespie, the two now allege that they were forced into signing new contracts in November that effectively would have ended their tenures with the team in February instead of the original 18 month deals they signed when joining Tyson Summers’ staff early in 2016.
Per Dan Wolken of USA Today:
The lawsuits allege breach of contract, fraud and tortious interference after the school failed to execute the 18-month contracts the coaches signed initially, then pressured them to sign shorter deals two days before their dismissal.
After being offered the job by Summers and receiving formal offer sheets, both David Dean and Rance Gillespie signed 18-month contracts on Jan. 27, 2016, that established June 30, 2017, as the end of their term.
Both coaches claim that more than nine months later, they learned the school’s Board of Regents and the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation never signed the contracts. According to the lawsuits, Summers notified the coaching staff on Nov. 3, 2016, that new contracts were being prepared.
The second contract, which was given to the coaches following the 10th game of the season on Nov. 16, had changed the end of the agreement to Feb. 28, 2017.
If true, this is a terrible look for the athletic department, and one that I would not be shocked about. As the years have wore on under athletic director Tom Kleinlein, the state of the football team has progressively declined.
Knowing that last season was going in the tank starting with the Sun Belt schedule, Georgia Southern turned in a putrid 4-7 season with tons of highs and lows (mostly lows) before upsetting Troy on December 3.
The now-former coordinators Dean and Gillespie were let go shortly after it was announced that Summers would be returning for his second year with the team, and Georgia Tech coach Bryan Cook was brought in to run the offense.
I'm excited to hear about all the excuses about this one— Kevin Ellison (@MrAllPurposeKev) July 6, 2017
It’s not good when your former quarterback is commenting on the team’s lack of accountability off the field.
If these allegations prove to be true, do not be surprised if Kleinlein is let go or officially ‘steps down’ as athletic director.
As of now, the school has issued a statement saying it does not comment on pending lawsuits.