Brandon Marcello of AL.com was the first to release the statement by Golloway's lawyer, John Saxon. It can be seen in the tweet below:
Sunny calls out Pearl RT @bmarcello: Statement from Sunny Golloway’s lawyer this morning pic.twitter.com/3a11KeQVMp— Josh (@joshdub_) September 28, 2015
Soooo, let's take a look at this. I'm no lawyer, so perhaps our lawyer members (Tuco and now Peggy (congrats again, Peggy!)) can weigh in a bit more later on the contracts issue, but this is quite the statement. One thing is clear is that it's likely going to get nasty before it gets better. The following is written by someone (Walt) who is definitely NOT a lawyer, and whose knowledge of the law in actual practice only extends to study as a historian of Constitutional history. Which is to say "pretty much none."
The first paragraph is by far the most interesting. To sum things up, possible violations of NCAA practice regulations are what rumors say led to his dismissal. That is just rumor, though. I'm going to copy the tweets of Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) at the bottom of this article on what he has heard or believes to be the case on the entire Golloway situation from his hiring until yesterday afternoon. He does an excellent job of summarizing what little we, as fans, know.
By the looks of this statement, it appears that Golloway's lawyer is inferring that other coaches, players, players families, SOMEONE, at least - possibly in collusion with Auburn Athletic Department officials - are to blame and that Golloway himself should not have been fired as the result over said reported violations. We know there are plenty of folks who don't like Golloway in the realm of players' families, folks with in the AD, etc.
The statement doesn't directly accuse the Athletic Department of being involved in a conspiratorial effort to fire him, but it does claim that there are individuals who set out to make Golloway a fall guy for violations committed. It says that if mistakes were made, they were "the mistakes of others, who have conspired to make him the victim." Following that with "If it is necessary in the coming days to air these matters, folks from Jay Jacobs on down ... will be the ones wishing Auburn had handled this differently" does seem to imply that he believes his firing was the result of an administration looking for any reason to get rid of him, though. I don't necessarily believe he's far off the mark, there, either.
I find it hard to believe that someone would actually attempt to manufacture a situation to fire a coach, though. If anything, I would bet it happened along the lines of "well, we found out that this did happen, and we believes it gives us strong enough ground to stand on." The folks in the Athletic Department would have to know that a firing "with cause" - which results in zero money from the remainder of the contract and no buyout being paid - would be contested in court. No one walks away from that much money. Especially someone with Golloway's attitude and reputation, who would likely find it hard to get another job in big time college baseball following such a firing. There's no way our Athletic Department is that stupid, right? RIGHT?!? PLEASE, SOMEONE ASSURE ME I'M RIGHT!!!!
The second paragraph is a strange addition to me, but I guess they're trying anything to smear Auburn with that statement. I really don't understand calling out Bruce Pearl as "disgraced." I think you could get a fair number of Auburn fans behind you for attacking the job Jay Jacobs has done as the athletic director, but calling out Pearl is not really one of them. Pearl is a hire that most Auburn folks have been heavily behind and Pearl has conducted himself on and off the court in a manner that reflects great credit on himself and Auburn. He's been a fantastic ambassador for the school.
The final paragraph is quite interesting, though, in a "sure, let's see how that one works out for you" kind of way. They make the statement that there are "good arguments, which we are prepared to test in court, that he actually has a lifetime contract." I don't know much about contract law or state regulations, but as someone pointed out to me on Twitter, I'm pretty sure Auburn can only legally give a five year contract. Soooo... I don't think that claim is going to stand up. We'll see, though.
Kevin on Twitter pointed to this article on his contract as being the likely area used to argue a "lifetime contract." In particular there's this statement:
For starters, Golloway can add years to his contract by winning games. Finishing with an overall winning record in the first three years of his contract automatically adds another year to the life of the agreement, and in the final two years, Golloway will get an extension if Auburn finishes with a winning SEC record.
Since he didn't finish the first three years of the contract, I don't see how you could really argue that results in a "lifetime contract." Plus, it only adds a single season to the initial contract. It does not state that extensions will be added in perpetuity. Stranger things have been determined in courts, though.
One thing is for sure, and that's that this whole situation is going to result in Auburn being dragged through the mud. Who knows how the school will come out looking on the other side? I think the likelihood is that there were violations, Golloway was somehow turned in for them, and the administration saw it as a reason to pull the trigger. I doubt there was a vast conspiracy. We'll be here to give you our perspective whenever information comes out.
Okay, so here we go: (re #Auburn Baseball) and apologies in advance for blowing up your timelines.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
First of all, I'm not an insider. I have no ties to the program. So all this (really) is just hearsay and collections of postings/readings— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
and also, before we start is Golloway and not Galloway and it's Sunny and not Sonny. That will get fubar'd multiple times today. Always will— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Golloway did not get off to a great start at AU. Didn't make friends but did however sell the program as well as he could.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
There were some things that AU baseball has sorely lacked facilities wise. CSG wanted those implemented. That was a big plus.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Now, I don't know if those upgrades were already in the works or not. Still, CSG should get some credit for them.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
One thing to also remember is that CSG reached out TO Auburn when he was hired. He has burned a ton of bridges at OU and needed an out.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
If you just look at the roster turnover at #Auburn, it's more than just your normal "cleaning house". There was an problem. A legit concern.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
You absolutely cannot build any time of program by plugging in JUCOs. You also can't promise Freshman things and not deliver— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
and you can't start piecemeal scholarships for upperclassmen and make every year a try-out. It's just bad business.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
So you have an abrasive personality, distrust among some players at times, and other factors all combining and being volatile.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Still, CSG survived Year One even when at the end of the season he was given an ultimatum by the school.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
So it's documented that AU wanted to try to fire CSG after Year One because of abuse allegations. CSG called the admins bluff. AU balked.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
So AU overachieves in Year 2 and CSG is somewhat Teflon after. There's still turnover and turmoil but there's also positive building.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
So you had an admin, boosters and some players who wanted CSG gone but couldn't do anything about it. There had to be a legit reason.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Just because he yelled at players and was an ass wasn't going to get him fired. You would need specific players to go public and on record.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
That's not going to happen. Or, it's very rare it would happen. It would make me a little uneasy as a player at times.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
You'd always hear weird rumors and things about CSG. From breaking locker room doors to being erratic. Again rumors.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
My favorite rumor? Having a "spy" sit around player's families to see if they badmouthed him and then punishing the player later.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
So, again, bad behavior but nothing documented so you need a reason. A legit reason. So you don't pay his buyout and avoid legal recourse— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
So here's the reason (rumored). CSG broke the 4 on 1 practice rule. 4 or more players together training and 1 coach? Official practice— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Technically it's a ticky-tacky minor NCAA violation to get dinged on. Still, it would be enough & if you were looking for cause? There it is— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
It's basically like Al Capone getting arrested for "Tax Evasion"— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Breaking the 4/1 rule makes sense and also fits with why Tom Holliday is on leave as well. Especially if he organized/participated.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
What else will happen? This will probably get ugly in the press. Just a thought. CSG isn't going to leave without a fight.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Proven right, given this article.
CSG, at this point, it fighting for another job so he has to clean up a now damaged rep. So he'll probably fight that legally & in press— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
We will never know why Coach Sunny Golloway was officially fired unless it is IN WRITING and made public.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
How do you find that out? Get lawyers to start taking depositions. If CSG wants to press then that would happen.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Personally? I hate that the CSG era ended like this. His initial hire excited me. I thought AU was showing a real commitment to baseball— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
I distinctly remember texting @ccfuhr when the hire was made and being pumped that AU was actually making a bold baseball move.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
I defended CSG and his actions to friends. Basically using the "give him time" excuse. Now? I look like a dang fool.— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
Thus endeth my Twitter rant and ramblings. Again, I'm not an insider, just a huge fan. #WarEagle— Kevin Ives (@AUPPL) September 27, 2015
On that second to last tweet, I don't think Kevin looks like a fool, and nor do most who are familiar with him. Kevin loves Auburn baseball more than anyone I've ever met and wants nothing but the best for everyone who ever puts on that uniform and walks out on Hitchcock Field. On his record as a coach, Golloway was a great hire. It's a shame it's all ended like this.