Saying a document is a contract, is that really a contract? This is the debate that is currently happening between University of Tennessee and Ohio State defensive coordinatior, Greg Schiano.
Schiano was offer a head coach position at the University of Tennessee, but that did not last long. It took only hours for something to go wrong, and potentionally cost UT millions of dollars. Schiano and the UT director of Athletics, John Currie, sat down and together signed a 'Memorandum of Understanding' (MOU). This agreement essentially stated his position as well as his salary of $27.7 million for the course of six years. Signing this Memorandum typically means that there is a binding agreement, in this case between Schiano and Currie. Thus, when UT backed out from the deal, it was huge shock.
The reason for UT's withdraw from the offer was because of allegations that Schiano was aware of child molestation of his colleague, Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 accounts of child abuse, and did not act on it. This issue became an uproar when fans, former athletes, alumni, students, and elected officials took to social media to attack Greg Schiano, that he knew of this and did not terminate him. However, he denied the alegations and being aware of Sandusky's actions. Because of this, UT also fired John Currie, finding that there was due dillegence in the process of hiring Schiano.
However, that was not the only issue at hand. It became evident, that the contract was not valid because signatures were missing. While Schiano's and Currie's signatures were there, UT's Chancellor Beverly Davenport and CFO David Miller's signature's were absent. According to University, without the completion of these signatures, the contract is invalid, due to "contract Policy".
It may be that Greg Schiano is subject to a large sum due to the breach. It is stated that termination of MOU 'without cause' is allowed, but he is entitled to 75% of the salary that was given at the signing, hence he would receive $20.625 million. Not only was there a breach of contract, but there was also the issue of defamation, or false statements that hurt one's reputation. Essentially, statements like such, will decrease his chances of future positions as a head coach or jobs in general.
All in all, this document is a contract, because there are two more parties involved where there is an agreement. Hence, there is a breach because the contract was broken off and withdrawn from.