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Oklahoma State v. Wickline: Fight Over Play-Calling Duties

Joe Wickline, co-offensive coordinator at the University of Texas (“UT”), was recently sued by Oklahoma State University (“OSU”) and he, then, filed a countersuit. OSU, Wickline’s former employer of nine years, argues it is entitled to liquidated damages in the amount of $593,487.00 because Wickline breached his contract when exiting for UT. Under the terms of his contract with OSU, Wickline was permitted to leave OSU without penalty if he accepted an offensive coordinator job with “play-calling duties” or received a job in the National Football League. Charlie Strong, UT’s head football coach, also hired Shawn Watson to serve as co-offensive coordinator. OSU argues Watson is calling the offensive plays for UT, thus Wickline must meet the liquidated damages requirements of his contract. To the contrary, in his countersuit filed in Travis County (Austin, Texas), Wickline argues he is calling plays for UT. In sum, if a settlement is not reached, the court will have to determine whether Wickline has play-calling duties.

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