Coaching Non-Compete Update
A few weeks ago we analyzed the enforceability of a college football coach’s non-compete agreement. The example we cited was Texas assistant Will Muschamp. Make that former assistant Will Muschamp. Muschamp left Texas over the weekend to take the Florida job. No claim of a non-compete from Texas and as we discussed unlikely it could have been enforced even if there was such a provision.
Bobby Petrino signed a new 7 year multimillion dollar deal with Arkansas late last week. Included in the agreement was a non-compete provision that reportedly prevents Petrino from moving to another SEC school. Whether that agreement is enforceable under Arkansas law is an issue for the Arkansas lawyers.
If it were in Texas, the agreement would appear to be reasonable in that excludes Petrino from working for any of Arkansas’ competitors. It is unknown what the duration of the non-compete is under the new deal. As pointed out previously, how a non-compete with a coach is ancillary to an otherwise enforceable agreement, a Texas requirement, is unclear. What Arkansas is providing to Petrino that gives rise to the non-compete is the issue. What would that be? A lawyer will probably be able to come up with something but it will be difficult for that argument to survive appellate scrutiny.