Happy Father’s Day

My Dad passed away on January 16, 2012, he was 88. He was born in southeast Alabama on May 25, 1923 and had five (5) sisters and four (4) brothers. When World War II started he joined the Navy and served until the War ended then he came back to Bessemer, Alabama. In my office I have a newspaper article from the Birmingham Business Journal dated September 3, 2004 with a “profile” of my Dad (he was 81 at that time). By then he had “retired” from the Bessemer bank where he had worked for years but he continued to serve as chairman of the Bessemer Industrial Development Board. The article was broken down into titled sections with short responses – one of the sections was “True Confessions – Three Greatest Passions”. My Dad’s response was “Faith, family and love of sports, including golf and football”. Thanks Dad.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

If you have a question or comment, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or at my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A NEW COACH’S STAFF

In a great article on ESPN.com Ivan Maisel says “The hardest job for a first-time head coach is not learning a locker room full of new names, or persuading those players who came to play for someone else to play for him. Everything flows from solving the jigsaw puzzle of assembling a staff. Someone who has never been in charge before must hire nine coaches who are communicative teachers and engaging recruiters, who can work long, caffeine-fueled hours together under competitive pressure and not rip out each other’s throats.” Maisel takes us through how Justin Wilcox went about putting together his first staff at Cal. CLICK HERE. I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

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High Fives to the Air Force, Army and Navy football teams.

Six weeks into the 2016 season our military academies are all having great years. Navy just knocked off undefeated Houston bringing their record to 4-1 with their only loss being to Air Force. Air Force is also 4-1 and Army is 3-2 with their 2 losses being by a total of 10 points.

Being a football player at the college level is demanding in and of it self and when you add to that the additional duties and responsibilities the young men at Air Force, Army and Navy have on them without a doubt it takes exceptional individuals to be able to be successful both on and off the football field. Many of these young men will be the future leaders of our country – I think that’s a good thing for all of us!

CLICK HERE for an inside look at Navy’s 46-40 win last Saturday over Houston.

 

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If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

Burton Burns 2 High Fives!

High Fives and congratulations to good friend and client Burton Burns, associate head coach/running backs coach at the University of Alabama!

 

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 CLICK HERE to read a recent article from ESPN.com on Coach Burns, his career and the impact he has had on the young men he has coached. Great job Coach!

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If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

Summer Workouts – Football Season is almost here!

bryantpaulbioOne of the biggest differences from when I played at Alabama (1971-1974) and today is what goes on during the summer. Back then very few players stayed on campus – just about everybody spent the summer at home. Today, all the players are on campus participating in supervised workouts and taking classes. The summer before my senior season there were a handful of us who made the decision to stay in Tuscaloosa. We lived in the dorm, took a few hours of classes, and worked out on our own – coaches and staff were not allowed to be involved. Every day we would all meet at the Coliseum to workout with the objective being to push each other to prepare for the 1974 season. From past experience we knew how practices would be when we got started and that the only way to make it through them was to be in great shape. Around the middle of July Coach Bryant would send a letter to all of the players telling us the date we were to “report” back to Tuscaloosa and to “encourage” us to be prepared! My good friend and teammate Sylvester Croom was one of the players in our workout group that summer. Click HERE to read the letter Coach Bryant sent to us in the summer of 1974. I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

COACH BRYANT’S “PHILOSOPHY OF COACHING”


paul-bryants-quotes-8I’m not sure where I found it but at some point since I first starting practicing law (1983) I found a copy of a talk Coach Bryant gave at the 1966 American Football Coaches Association meetings. It was a copy of a copy of a copy and whoever originally had it had highlighted certain parts so by the time I got it the print was so blurred it was barely legible. Well, after years of being frustrated with the quality of the print I had a brilliant idea – call the AFCA and see if they had a quality copy. I called, was transferred to someone in “archives” and an hour later I received an email with a clear copy of the talk – “Philosophy of Coaching”, by Paul Bryant, Head Coach, University of Alabama. Early in the piece Coach points out “what I plan to do is talk about some phases or some things in football that I normally talk about to our young boys, players when they are graduating going out to coach”. It certainly does that but it’s also a good read for the veteran coaches too. CLICK HERE for the copy of the talk – it’s long but well worth the time.

 

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

RECRUITING

Recruiting is a big part of what coaches do. Not only do you recruit players but you also “recruit” coaches, staff and other people who work with you to help your team be successful. What do you look for when you’re “recruiting” people to be a part of your team? CLICK HERE to read a great article by John Maxwell on five key areas you should focus on during any recruiting process.

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

James Owens – A Man of Courage

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James Owens, a running back at Fairfield High School who in 1969 became the first black player to sign a football scholarship at Auburn University, passed away on Saturday, March 26th. I didn’t know James well. I had spent some time with him in the summer of 2013 when we put together an event at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in downtown Birmingham, bringing together Auburn and Alabama coaches and players from the late sixties and early seventies to discuss the integration of the two schools’ football programs.

James Owens talks to the media on Tuesday. Gene Chizik presser with James Owens on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst

CLICK HERE for a link to an article about the event. But from the short time we were together it was obvious James was a man of God, a leader, a trailblazer, and someone who, although only in his late teens and early twenties during his years at Auburn, understood the significance of the role he had stepped into. James Owens, along with other African- American football players from that time at Auburn and at Alabama, played a great role in helping to change our state. Our thoughts and prayers go out to James’ wife, Gloria, and the Owens family and friends.

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      But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

HIGH FIVES!

Walter

High Fives to Virginia Tech men’s head basketball coach Buzz Williams!

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Coach Williams had noticed for years that most college basketball players didn’t pay attention during the National Anthem. CLICK HERE to see the message Coach Williams sent to his team.

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

What’s In Your Contract?

Whats in your wallet

Reassignment Clause

As we talked about in one of our posts last fall, employment contracts can be terminated “with cause” (neglect of duties, violation of NFL, NCAA, conference, university rules, etc.) or “without cause” (primarily not winning enough games). The main difference between the two is that if the Coach is terminated “with cause” the employer doesn’t owe the Coach anything for the remainder of the term of the contract but if the Coach is terminated “without cause” the employer, unless it is a really bad contract, has to continue to pay Coach some amount for some period of time.

Another provision that I am always concerned with is a “reassignment” clause that will be worded something like this:

At the discretion of the Athletics Director the University retains the right to reassign Coach to other positions with other duties during the term of this Agreement. In no event, however, will Coach be assigned to any position which is not consistent with Coach’s education and experience. If Coach refuses to accept such reassignment the University may terminate Coach “with cause”.

This provision means the Coach can be moved off the field as a coach and “reassigned” to, for example, a position in the university’s athletic foundation where he’ll spend the day calling alumni asking for donations to the athletics department. If the Coach agrees to the reassignment the university will continue to pay the Coach what he is owed under his contract. If, however, the Coach wants to continue to coach and refuses to accept the “reassignment” and takes a coaching position with another program, the university can terminate the Coach “with cause” and will not owe the Coach anything.

I don’t like “reassignment” clauses so we always try and get them removed from the contracts. But as is the case in negotiating contracts, whether they will make the changes usually boils down to how much leverage do we have and/or how hard are we willing to push. Whatever happens, it is important that you understand what the clause means and the impact it can have on you.

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at rdavis@wallacejordan.com or you can reach Jonathan Shugart on his cell (334-559-6906) or his office (205-874-0396) or you can email him at jshugart@wallacejordan.com.

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