An Oregon legislator has introduced a bill which would shift the costs of an NCAA investigation and violation onto coaches. Here is the summary of the bill from Willamette Week:
Provides that coach at public university who intentionally or recklessly commits or causes to be committed major violation of rules of National Collegiate Athletic Association is liable for university’s actual damages and attorney fees. Applies to major violations committed before, on or after effective date. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
The article notes other reporting that Oregon’s bills have topped $150,000 investigating the football program’s use of recruiting services. That would be light compared to other major violations; total costs have routinely run into the millions of dollars.
The second to last sentence of the summary is the most intriguing. The bill’s sponsor wants it to apply after the fact to violations committed prior to the bill’s passage. That might mean not just an attempt by the state of the Oregon not to make coaches think twice, but to go after Chip Kelly in the current NCAA case. Under the proposed law, Oregon would have two years after the law is passed to start an action against Kelly for its legal fees.
Beyond a template for other state legislatures, this could end up being a new standard clause in employment contracts for major college coaches. At the very least, it could become a part of buyout clauses, specifically addressing instances where a coach leaves a program in the middle of an NCAA investigation or major infractions case.