Judge: Former football coach Al Golden's $3M lawsuit against Miami without merit

A federal judge has granted the University of Miami's motion for final summary judgment and ruled that the Hurricanes owed former football coach Al Golden a $2 million buyout when he was fired nearly five years ago, and not the $6 million he was requesting in his breach-of-contract lawsuit.

Golden filed the breach-of-contract lawsuit against the university in October 2018, seeking more than $3 million for what he argued was the unpaid portion of his settlement money.

U.S. District Court Judge Darrin P. Gayles affirmed and adopted a magistrate court judge's report and recommendations that the third amended contract is "unambiguous and reflects that the buyout payment is the dollar amount reflected for the year of termination and does not include a summation of the remaining years."

"After considering Golden's objections, the Court finds that they are without merit," Gayles wrote. "The Court agrees that the Third Amendment is unambiguous and not susceptible to multiple interpretations. The Court further agrees with [the magistrate court judge's] finding that the Third Amendment unambiguously requires the University to pay Golden $2 million for terminating his contract in Year 5 of the nine-year contract."

Gayles ruled that the $2 million termination payment was consistent with prior drafts of Golden's contract.

The Hurricanes fired Golden the day after a 58-0 loss to Clemson on Oct. 25, 2015, the worst defeat in the program's history. Golden went 32-25 in four-plus seasons with the Hurricanes, including a 17-18 record against ACC opponents.

Golden, 51, has worked the past five seasons as an NFL assistant. The Cincinnati Bengals hired him as its linebackers coach in January.