Documents break down buyout details as John Chavis planned to leave LSU for Texas A&M

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva sent a letter to former defensive coordinator John Chavis requesting the coach pay a $400,000 buyout three days before Chavis officially resigned, documents show.

The letter gives Chavis a deadline to pay the buyout and outlines payment options. The documents, which shed light on the buyout situation between the school and Chavis, were obtained by The Advocate through a public-records request.

Chavis, who left LSU for Texas A&M after the Tigers’ loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30, submitted a resignation letter to LSU on Jan. 5, four days after he landed in College Station, Texas, with A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Chavis’ letter, two sentences in length, was addressed to LSU coach Les Miles and also was sent to Alleva.

“I have enjoyed my time at LSU and truly wish you the best in the future,” Chavis wrote to Miles in the letter.

On Jan. 2, Alleva sent a letter to Chavis requesting the coach pay a $400,000 buyout. In the letter, Alleva writes that LSU is owed the buyout because Chavis broke his contract before Jan. 31, 2015. Chavis’ deal did not have a buyout if he left during the last 11 months of the deal.

The contract ended Dec. 31, 2015. Chavis’ original three-year deal ended Dec. 31, 2014, but he signed a memorandum agreement extending the deal by a year through the 2015 season. The Advocate received a copy of the memorandum of agreement earlier this fall.

Chavis has two options in paying the $400,000 buyout, Alleva writes in the letter: in one lump sum or in monthly installments “over a period of time equal to the amount of time remaining on the agreement.”

“As there are 12 months remaining on the contract, the monthly payment option is $33,333.33 per month due by the last day of each month, with the first payment due on January 31, 2015,” Alleva wrote.

Alleva gave Chavis a deadline of Jan. 16 on deciding on a payment option; that was a week ago. Alleva declined comment Friday.

A&M has not officially announced Chavis as its defensive coordinator because of the buyout situation, a source close to the coach told The Advocate. Chavis has been recruiting for A&M, and he landed in College Station with Sumlin on Jan. 1.

According to email exchanges The Advocate received, A&M’s lawyers are, in part, handling negotiations with LSU regarding the buyout.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.

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