Reaction: Is Jim Leavitt Leaving the Oregon Ducks? Why? What’s Next?

Jim Leavitt Oregon Ducks Mario Cristobal Fired

*updated 7:43am 2/14/19

Reports came out Wednesday evening that the Oregon Ducks would be parting ways with their defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt. Yet, no official statement has been made by the university or Jim Leavitt. He did remove “Oregon LB coach/defensive coordinator” from his Twitter profile. And Bruce Feldman tweeted that Oregon and Jim Leavitt have reached a financial settlement. The biggest questions are why have Leavitt and head coach Mario Cristobal struggled to co-exist, and will he be fired, resign, or will they make up? There had been grumblings of discord within the coaching staff for the quite some time. Apparently, those frustrations have come to a head.

There are four possibilities in this situation: Oregon fires Leavitt and pays out the rest of his contract, Leavitt resigns, Oregon fires Leavitt for cause, or athletic director Rob Mullens and the rest of the decision makers get the coaches to work out their differences.

It seems unlikely that the Ducks would want to fire Leavitt who is under contract through January 31, 2022, at $1.7 million per year. Technically, that could be done, but that would be a high price to pay to get Leavitt to go away. It also seems extremely unlikely that Leavitt just quits without having another job lined up. He would forfeit the remaining money he is guaranteed. I don’t know one person who would leave that kind of money on the table. If Leavitt did something for Oregon to fire him for cause, we would have heard about it before now. So, that leaves Leavitt and Cristobal kissing and making up as a viable option.

What will the fallout be if Leavitt leaves? Will players enter the transfer portal? Who will be the next defensive coordinator?

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