‘Former’ Pitt coach Mike Haywood wants to meet with school, ‘avoid litigation’

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Former Pitt head coach Michael Haywood and his laywer, Tony Buzbee, have sent a “demand letter” to the University of Pittsburgh asking his former employer to adhere to the buyout of the five-year contract that he signed late last year, or else he will pursue litigation*.

As you’ll recall, Haywood left Miami (OH) to become the head coach at Pitt for a whole 2 1/2 weeks before a domestic violence incident on New Year’s caused the university to abruptly terminate his employment.

And, apparently, they did so without paying Haywood a single dime.

Haywood and Buzbee feel that violates the terms of Haywood’s buyout.

According to a press release from Buzbee’s law firm, Pitt fired Haywood without cause or investigation into the dispute, which as they claim, was later resolved between Haywood and his baby momma.

“In their rush to judgment, Pitt officials did not bother to contact the alleged victim or even the coach himself. I believe the university violated its contract with the coach, the university’s employment procedures, and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Buzbee stated. “Had Pitt conducted even a cursory investigation, it would have determined that the alleged incident simply did not occur as reported, and the termination would not have occurred. We are exploring other motives for Pitt’s firing of Coach Haywood.”

Pitt reportedly refused to pay Haywood’s buyout at Miami ($300,000) and the buyout of his contract with the Panthers ($750,000 annually for each year unfulfilled — in this case, all of them) if he were to be fired without cause.

Haywood had signed a five-year, $7.5 million contract with Pitt in December, according to Buzbee.

More from Buzbee:

“We’re filing our notice letter with the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission, the E.E.O.C. and the University of Pittsburgh, which we are required to do before we file suit.

“The coach was fired almost six months ago and we have a six-month deadline to file this paperwork. So this is the precursor to litigation, if there’s going to be litigation.

“The monetary part is important of course, but what’s more important is that Coach Haywood’s name be cleared. What the university did tarnished his reputation. He needs to be coaching and that’s what he wants to do.

“The only demand that we’re really making at this point is ‘hey let’s sit down. You never asked what happened. We offered to tell you what happened. You didn’t want to talk to either the coach or the alleged victim.

” ‘So here are the facts now. Admit you made a mistake and let’s move past this and let Coach Haywood coach some more.’ “

Buzbee added that he will give Pitt “some time to respond” before pursuing any further legal action.

(*note: I’m no fancy-pants lawyer like Mike Florio, but I’m pretty sure litigation in layman’s terms means “sue your butt”)

Ex-WVU receiver Reggie Roberson announces transfer to SMU

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Former West Virginia wide receiver Reggie Roberson seems to have found his new place to call home. Roberson announced his commitment to SMU with a doctored image on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.

By rule, Roberson will have to sit out the 2018 college football season since he is transferring to another FBS program. He’ll be eligible to play again for SMU beginning in 2019, but he will do so with three years of eligibility remaining.

Roberson was a three-star prospect in West Virginia’s Class of 2017 and he played in 10 games as a true freshman for the Mountaineers last fall. In those 10 games, Roberson caught six passes for 30 yards. Roberson is a native of Texas, so moving to SMU will bring him a little closer to home than Morgantown, West Virginia can offer.

Syracuse recruiting director leaves to become scout for Buffalo Bills

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Syracuse recruiting director Asil Mulbah is heading to the NFL. With an announcement on Instagram, Mulbah announced he is joining the scouting department with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

“Excited to announce that I have accepted a position in the Buffalo Bills Scouting Department,” Mulbah said in his statement. “I’d like to thank Coach Babers, the SU football staff, and the players for an amazing two seasons filled with memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Mulbah has previous NFL scouting experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has been a part of the Syracuse program since 2016. Prior to his arrival at Syracuse under head coach Dino Babers, Mulbah made stops at Wake Forest and Bowling Green.

Nebraska’s starting center opts to retire from playing football

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Nebraska has a handful of centers vying for the starting job in the middle of the offensive line this season. However, one of those options will not be Michael Decker. On Saturday morning, via Twitter, Decker announced he is retiring from playing football. Decker was a starting center for the Huskers last season.

“Over the past [six] months, I have taken a step back and looked at my future career goals and decided that I can no longer [accomodate] football’s commitments,” Decker said in his statement. “It is finally time to see that these aspirations outweighed the lacking desire to continue playing the game. Which, given the team’s goals, would only hurt them by my participation.”

Decker started five games for Nebraska at the center position in 2017 as a sophomore. A knee injury in October brought his season to a premature end. That injury also sidelined Decker for Nebraska spring football this season, leaving his future with the program and the game in doubt.

Nebraska is now moving forward with 14 offensive linemen on scholarship. Hunter Miller seemed to get the most opportunities in the spring to work with the first-team offense, but Nebraska also expects to have Cole Conrad back for the fall. Conrad started seven games for Nebraska last fall.

Japanese college football coach resigns over controversial hit

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Masato Uchida, the head coach of Nihon University’s national championship football team in Japan, has resigned as head coach of the program in response to a devastating hit delivered by one of his players on an opposing quarterback in a recent game against rival Kwansei Gakuin.

A Nihon defender well behind a pass play sped toward a quarterback well after an attempted pass. With the quarterback leisurely jogging toward the sideline, the Nihon defender tackled the unsuspecting quarterback from behind at the legs. You can watch the video of the hit, which went viral in Japan, on YouTube. The quarterback was forced to leave the game and it has been reported recovery from ligament damage in his spine could take three weeks. Fortunately, no nerve damage was discovered.

“The responsibility for this series of problems lies directly with me. I will resign as head coach,” Uchida said on Saturday, according to the Associated Press. “I am quitting for the sake of the young players. We must create a new Nichidai. After the incident, I did not warn my players and that is my responsibility. It was my poor judgment.”

Officials from Kwansei Gakuin accused Nihon of intentionally trying to hurt the quarterback, but Uchida initially refuted such allegations. In light of the controversial hit, three games for Nihon have been canceled due to upcoming opponents opting not to play against them. The Kantoh Collegiate Football Association announced additional cancellations as well.