wjxt logo

Jaguars could pay a big price to part ways with Meyer after video scandal, lawyer says

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued a statement Tuesday following national outrage over head coach Urban Meyer’s actions at an Ohio bar last week.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued a statement Tuesday following national outrage over head coach Urban Meyer’s actions at an Ohio bar last week.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued a statement Tuesday following national outrage over head coach Urban Meyer’s actions at an Ohio bar last week.

Khan called Meyer’s actions “inexcusable” but indicated he’s standing behind Meyer as his coach going forward.

News4Jax spoke with both a Jaguars beat reporter and a lawyer who specializes in sports and entertainment law. They both said Meyer likely has a lot of leverage and it would take a lot for the team to decide to part ways with him.

COMMENTARY: Urban Meyer becomes the ‘distraction’ that he warned people about

Nationally and locally there have been voices calling for the Jaguars to either discipline or fire Meyer following the now-viral video, but reporter Hays Carlyon at 1010XL Sports Radio said that likely won’t happen.

“Shad Khan wanted to hire Urban Meyer so badly that I think there’s not a lot of language in his contract that has a lot of teeth to it in terms of a clause that would allow the team to get out of it,” Carlyon said.

The details of Meyer’s contract are not publicly available, but according to reports before he was hired, the former Ohio State and Florida coach was seeking around $12 million a year.

John Phillips, a local attorney who specializes in sports and entertainment law, said because Meyer was a highly sought-after coach his contract is likely iron clad, and it could be expensive for the team if they ever wanted to fire him for violating either a “morals clause” or a “for cause clause” in his contract.

“Generally in those bargains, the coach has more bargaining power,” Phillips said. “Urban Meyer has specifically dealt with morals clause interpretations in prior contracts. I suspect he had a pretty powerful negotiation where he got more than usual, or more than average, in the negotiation on the morals clause or the for cause clause.”

Phillips said if Meyer ever decided to resign that would likely be a very complicated negotiation with the team. He cautioned not to read too much into Khan’s statement that nothing will happen to Meyer.

He noted one of the interesting portions of Khan’s statement: “Specifics of our conversation will be held in confidence.”

Meyer said Monday he apologized to the team and his family after a video that showed an unknown woman dancing on him at an Ohio bar went viral this weekend.

“I just apologized to the team and the staff for being a distraction. It was stupid,” Meyer said during a morning news conference. “I explained everything that happened and owned it, and, you know, just stupid, should not have had myself in that kind of position.”

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued a statement Tuesday following national outrage over head coach Urban Meyer’s actions at an Ohio bar last week.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued a statement Tuesday following national outrage over head coach Urban Meyer’s actions at an Ohio bar last week.

About the Author:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.