When Reggie Witherspoon took a job at ECC all seemed right with the world. A beloved UB figure had landed on his feet at his Alma Mater. As an Athletic Director he would oversee all sport, including the Basketball team that he coached before becoming Buffalo's interim coach in 1999.
The announcement was supposed to be yesterday but according to the Buffalo News Witherspoon's new era at ECC is hung up because of his old contract with UB.
Like most college coaching contracts there is a condition that if a coach is fired without breaching the contract he is paid until the contract ends. These contracts also almost always include two things. A buyout if the coach leaves for a better job and a clause staging if fired, and then hired somewhere else the payout either goes away or is cut by the amount of the new job.
Reggie Witherspoon is contending that his contract specifically says that new job has to be a Coaching job in order for that clause to take effect. His new capacity at ECC is that of Athletic Director, not Basketball coach so according to Witherspoon's attorneys he should continue to be paid his UB salary until his contract expires.
Someone at UB, and nobody will talk about this or take ownership of it, seems to differ with that contention.
White says he is only on the periphery. I hope that's true as white can only make things worse by direct involvement. This is a situation that could drag on for quite a bit and White has to spend his time appeasing busy body bureaucrats intent on marking their territory (I'll get into that later).
The associate counsel in the office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration at UB wont talk about it.
There were a lot of question as to why Witherspoon did not get another coaching job after being fired by White. Not even an assitant gig seemed likely as the weeks went on. Reggie bashers used this to justify the firing as justified because "nobody wanted him".
Could it be that WItherspoon intended all along to change career gears knosing UB was on the hook so long as he did not coach basketball? Most of us might take the same approach, I know it would cross my mind.