LSU admits to making ‘nominal’ alterations to John Chavis’ contract; judge tells coach to submit phone records _lowres

Advocate staff photo by Ross Dellenger -- Former LSU Defensive Coordinator John Chavis returned to Baton Rouge on Thursday for a court hearing.

Former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis has turned over his phone records for a 14-week period of 2014 and 2015, and depositions are expected to begin soon in the on-going legal battle between the coach and his ex-employer.

Chavis’ attorney, Jill Craft, delivered the coach’s phone records to the 19th Judicial District Court on April 12, and State District Judge Timothy E. Kelly sent redacted portions of the phone records to LSU’s attorneys on April 19.

The phone records are under seal and are not available for public consumption.

Meanwhile, attorneys from both sides are currently scheduling depositions. LSU administrators and coaching staff members and Chavis are likely to be deposed.

In a December court hearing, Kelley compelled Chavis to turn over to the court phone records from November 2014 to Feb. 13, 2015 – a key stretch of time in LSU’s lawsuit against the now-Texas A&M defensive coordinator.

LSU contends Chavis owes the school a $400,000 buyout for leaving before Jan. 31, 2015. Chavis and A&M claim the coach did not officially begin work until Feb. 13, 2015.

Chavis, though, is seen in photographs actively recruiting for Texas A&M during the month of January, even posing for photos with prospects while wearing Texas A&M gear. The timing of Chavis’ departure is essential to the case. Chavis would owe no buyout if he left after Jan. 31, 2015, according to the coach’s contract.

This fight between the school and Chavis is on its 14th month, a saga that began with both parties each filing a suit in February of last year – one from Chavis in Texas and LSU’s suit in Louisiana. Chavis’ suit in Texas was dismissed last year.

While LSU wants the $400,000 buyout, Chavis claims the school owes him more than $200,000 in unpaid vacation wages and academic performance bonuses and another $445,000 in penalty wages. He also contends the school altered his contract after he signed it – something LSU admitted in December. The school called it a “nominal” alteration that did not change the meaning of the document.

SEC baseball tournament update

The SEC will decide on the future site of the league baseball tournament during the conference’s spring meetings on May 30-June 3 in Destin, Florida, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said Thursday on ESPN 104.5’s Culotta & The Prince radio show.

New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Jacksonville have received or will receive site visits as finalists to host future SEC baseball tournaments starting next year. Hoover, Alabama, site of the tournament for the last 18 years, is also a finalist. The contract between Hoover and the league ends after this year’s tournament, set for May 24-29.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.