Did Ron Sanchez violate the terms of his agreement with Charlotte?

by Jun 7, 2023Basketball

Photo credit: Charlotte Athletics

First, you can check out Ron Sanchez’s contract and terms here –> original contract (extension 1 and extension 2).

While we don’t know all the circumstances around Ron Sanchez’s resignation, if he knew his destination prior to informing Charlotte he was stepping down, its probable that he violate the terms from his original agreement. That said, I’ll share 2 sections below to save you a click that could be relevant.

11.1 Termination by Coach Prior to Expiration

11.1 The parties hereby agree that Coach has special, exceptional, and unique knowledge, skill, and ability that render Coach’s services unique. Coach recognizes that the loss of Coach’s services to University prior to the expiration of the Term or any extension thereof would cause an inherent loss to University that cannot be estimated with certainty or fairly or adequately compensated by money damages.

11.2 Coach is prohibited from (a) actively seeking, (b) participating with a prospective employer in discussions about, (c) negotiating for, (d) accepting, or (e) commencing employment at, (f) or providing paid professional services to, any institution of higher education that is a member of the NCAA or any professional team participating in any professional league or conference in the United States or elsewhere, if performance of any duties would begin prior to the expiration date of the Term or any extension thereof, unless University has consented to such action in writing in advance, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. Any such action shall be considered termination of this Agreement by Coach prior to its expiration giving rise to the payment obligations set forth in Paragraph 11.3 below.

11.3 In the event Coach terminates this Agreement, Coach will pay University or arrange to have paid to University an amount equal to the Base Salary multiplied by the number of full and partial Contract Years remaining under this Agreement or any renewals thereof, and, if applicable, will forfeit any supplemental compensation not yet earned. Such payment will be due and payable within one hundred twenty (120) days after the termination of this Agreement.

11.4 Coach’s retirement from employment at University on a date prior to the expiration date of the Tenn or any extension thereof will not be considered termination of this Agreement; provided, however, that if Coach accepts employment with, commences employment with, or provides paid professional services to any institution of higher education that is a member of the NCAA or any professional sports team participating in any professional league or conference in the United States or elsewhere within one (I) calendar year after the effective date of such retirement, Coach will pay University as provided in this Section as if Coach had commenced employment with such other employer on the day following the date of Coach’s retirement.

12.0 Termination by Both Parties
This Agreement may be terminated at any time upon mutual written agreement of the parties.

My take

Its pretty apparent at this point that Ron Sanchez initiated this split, and from what I’m hearing, this was not expected (that’s what spurred this post). The last part makes sense to me, you just don’t see coaches step down at this point in the season. Fans are going to point fingers at who’s to blame in this scenario, that’s just the way things go. What we don’t know is when Sanchez informed Charlotte about his resignation. If he had discussions with UVA prior without advance consent from Charlotte, it’s a clear breach.

What led to this?

One angle I look at is Ron Sanchez only had 3 years remaining on his contract heading into this upcoming season, that could lead to a bit of uncertainty around his job security. Before the transfer portal era, it was pretty common that with 3 years left things enter an “extend or fire” range. That said, now you aren’t recruiting a majority of your roster with the expectations of them being a part of your program for 4 to 5 seasons. My best guess is this uncertainty could have led to uneasiness for Sanchez and ultimately the separation. There’s also the lens that a poor year at Charlotte this upcoming season would have led to his dismissal and hurt his ability to replace Tony Bennett should he leave UVA for the NBA or retirement.

What remains to be seen

With Sanchez leaving, he’s on the hook for his base salary for the remainder of his contract. The contract ends March 31, 2026, with the annual base salary being $450,000. That breaks down to $36,500 per month, with approximately 33 months remaining on his deal. I’ll save you the trip to a calculator, that’s $1,237,500, and it’s due within 120 days. I doubt that Charlotte receives that full amount, its highly-likely that terms were negotiated. I expect to see UVA come to Charlotte for a basketball game as part of the settlement. Our good friend at The D1 Docket has filed a FOIA for the separation terms, but there’s a chance it won’t be filled due to this being a personnel matter, and UNC Charlotte is not exactly quick at turning these types of things around, so there’s really no way of knowing just yet how this was settled between the parties.

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