John Chavis has been at LSU since the 2009 season
John Chavis was LSU's defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2014. (USATSI)

Breakups can be so messy.

According to, former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis has filed a lawsuit against both LSU and Texas A&M over his contract situation. The root of the issue is whether LSU is owed money for Chavis leaving the school to take the same job at Texas A&M, and if so, whether TAMU is obligated to pay some or all of it.

According to the suit, which was filed Friday afternoon, Chavis claims that under his contract at LSU -- which was scheduled to run through Dec. 31, 2015 -- he had the right to terminate the deal without cause with 30 days notice. Chavis also claims that if there were between zero and 11 months left on his contract, he would owe nothing to LSU, though he would have owed $400,000 to the school had he left with 11-23 months remaining on his contract.

Reports that Chavis was leaving LSU for Texas A&M first surfaced on Dec. 31, though Texas A&M did not officially announce Chavis' hiring until Feb. 13.

Chavis claims in his lawsuit that LSU athletic director Joe Alleva demanded he pay the school the $400,000 on Jan. 2, but that on Jan. 5, Chavis turned in his 30-day notice to terminate the deal without cause. That means his last day at LSU would have been Feb. 4.

Chavis also says in the suit that Texas A&M is "currently obligated to satisfy or cause to be satisfied the liquidated damages, if any, associated with Chavis' previous Employment Agreement with LSU," but it claims that Texas A&M is "unwilling to tender the liquidated damages demanded by LSU because it does it does (sic) not believe that liquidated damages are called for under the Employment Agreement as mentioned above."

In other words, Chavis doesn't think he owes LSU anything, but if it turns out that he does, he doesn't want to be the one paying LSU the money. He wants it to be Texas A&M. I'm not a lawyer, and I cannot determine the strength of the case nor who should end up paying what to whom.

I just know that this really isn't the most graceful way to end a job or start a new one.