Giants outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema has filed a $7 million lawsuit against the Razorback Foundation, the non-profit fundraising arm for Arkansas athletics, Michael McCann of Sportico reports.
The case, which could become key precedent for duty to mitigate clauses in coaches’ contracts, was filed in Arkansas federal court.
Bielema claims the foundation breached its contract when it didn’t complete payments on a nearly $12 million buyout the sides agreed upon in 2017. He received approximately $4.3 million in monthly installments until January 2019 when the foundation stopped paying.
The foundation argues Bielema has willfully refused to mitigate the amount of money owed to him, according to Sportico. The duty to mitigate is the obligation of a fired coach still owed money to make reasonable efforts to find another job, offsetting money owed by the previous employer.
Bielema served as Arkansas’ head coach from 2013-17, going 29-34 in five seasons. He worked as a consultant to Patriots coach Bill Belichick in 2018 and was New England’s defensive line coach last season.
Marshall Ney, the attorney for the Razorback Foundation, told Sportico that Bielema filed suit to avoid being sued.
“What I can share at this point before digesting the entire document is that the Foundation previously demanded that Bret Bielema return the $4,555,833.29 that had been paid to him prior to the Foundation’s discovery of his multiple material breaches of the agreement,” Ney told Sportico.