April Fools jokes aside (see today's early post), The Daily Egyptian has reported that Jerry Kill has finally let go of the long-standing stance that he had against Southern Illinois for taking away pay after he left to take the head coaching position at Northern Illinois.
Kill originally filed the lawsuit in February 2008 because SIU had not paid him for his paid vacation time and illegally fined him for leaving for NIU.
Here's the reason the lawsuit was dropped:
Former Saluki football coach Jerry Kill was reimbursed for paid vacation days and will not surrender a portion of his salary for accepting another coaching position, his attorney said Tuesday.
Shari Rhode, Kill’s attorney, said she filed to dismiss the case soon after the university paid Kill for paid vacation time provided in his contract with SIU. Because the university reimbursed Kill, Rhode said there was no reason to wait for a judicial ruling. Rhode would not reveal how much the university paid Kill.
So this whole mess is over right?
In Kill’s contract with SIU, the university reserved the right to fine Kill for “liquidated damages,” meaning money lost as a result of Kill’s departure. The university fined Kill $57,772.44 based on that provision of the contract after he signed with NIU.
Sievers said it had not been determined whether the university would sue Kill for those damages.
Though it is legal for the university to seek liquidated damages, Rhode said the fine was illegal because it penalized Kill for accepting another job.
The contract says the only party allowed to break the deal without punishment is the university unless it violated the contract or Kill quit coaching.
Okay...well we know one thing: NIU won't foot the possible in-question fine:
Kill said in his lawsuit that the university was wrong to assume NIU would pay the fine on his behalf.
But it is common for college athletic departments to pay a newly acquired coach’s previous institution when he or she incurs a penalty for leaving, Sievers said. He said SIU was justified in assuming NIU would extend that courtesy.
“This monetary problem happened so fast that I don’t think NIU knew about it,” Sievers said.
Donna Turner, media representative for Huskie football, said NIU would not pay Kill’s fine and did not play a role in his SIU contract discussions.
I'm no lawyer, but it seems like the majority of this issue is done with. Usually when college football coaches leave for other jobs, these type of legal issues are solved a lot sooner. Coach Kill has a lot better things to do right now than talk to a lawyer or appear in a court room. Hopefully this drop of a lawsuit will free his mind and the amount of time that this took up and we can now focus solely on preparing the Huskie Football team for this upcoming season.