John Chavis will make his return to Tiger Stadium under the lights.
LSU and Texas A&M meet on Nov. 28 in the regular season finale at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network, the Southeastern Conference announced Monday.
Buildup for the game has been brewing for much of the off-season – since Chavis surprisingly left the Tigers program for the Aggies after last season. Chavis and LSU are mired in a lawsuit over the coach’s departure. The school says he owes a $400,000 buyout. A&M and Chavis are fighting LSU on that notion.
The suit, at times messy, is playing out in the 19th Judicial Court in East Baton Rouge Parish after Chavis’ separate lawsuit against the school, filed in Texas, was dismissed over the summer. The latest court meeting in the case is set for December.
The court fighting could serve as the biggest storyline for a game that’s lost its luster as the two teams spiraled into losing funks. Once in the top-10, A&M (7-3, 3-3) has lost three of its last four SEC games. LSU (7-2, 4-2), once No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, has slipped to 17th and is on a two-game slide.
Both teams have lost at home as touchdown favorites – LSU to Arkansas and A&M to Auburn.
Chavis’ return should add some spice.
Since February, Chavis and A&M and LSU and its lawyers have filed dozens of documents in the lawsuits – all of them painting a messy divorce between Chavis and the school, specifically with LSU athletic director Joe Alleva.
According to documents, Chavis says he left the program after six years because he refused to sign a new deal that included the “Les Miles clause.” The clause “would allow LSU to terminate Chavis’ employment in the event Les Miles’ employment (is) terminated with LSU,” documents say. Chavis says, when hired in 2009, that Miles promised his contract would be a guaranteed deal, rolling over each year.
On the night of LSU’s loss in the Music City Bowl, Chavis and Miles met an emotional gathering in the team’s hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, where Miles urged Chavis to stay. Chavis, in court documents, says Miles offered the coach a contract that would pay him $1.7, $1.8 and $1.9 million over three years, a substantial raise and similar to what A&M is now paying the coach.
LSU and its lawyers have swiped at the Aggies in court filings, at one point saying the program was in “dire” need to repair its struggling defense.
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