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After Ohio State Resignation, Is Jim Tressel's Contract Voidable?

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 31, 2011 11:37 AM

Amid increasing allegations that he lied to university and NCAA officials about his knowledge of widespread rules violations, there has been a lot of talk about whether Ohio State University can rescind Jim Tressel's contract.

Having resigned over the weekend, the inquiry can be settled once and for all.

Do the Buckeyes owe the shamed coach any of his contract's designated payouts? The remaining $14 million? The perks?

In short, probably not--and for a few reasons.

As with most NCAA coaches, Jim Tressel's contract contains a clause that requires him to disclose any knowledge of rules violations to the university or NCAA, reports the Associated Press. There are e-mails and other evidence that demonstrate that he had knowledge of his players' involvement in the tattoo-for-memorabilia scheme.

Ordinarily, a breach of contract by one party doesn't make a contract voidable; however, it's almost certain that Jim Tressel's contract allows OSU to void the contract should he violate this provision.

That means no payout of remaining obligations.

From Jim Tressel's contract extension in 2010, we also know that he negotiated a provision that, should he resign on good terms, he would receive a university job and salary. This indicates that there is also likely a contract provision that details what would happen to his severance or buyout provisions if he were to resign on bad terms.

Unfortunately for Tressel, these clauses usually require little to no payout.

Though there's no definite word on whether the Buckeyes struck a deal with Tressel to induce his resignation, with the information currently available, it looks like Jim Tressel's contract is officially useless.

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