Thursday, May 21, 2009

WTF is going on at Kansas State?

One of the oddest coaching moves of the offseason was Kansas State's decision to resurrect Bill Snyder from the dead and bring him back as coach in hopes that he can once again make the Wildcats relevant.

Ron Prince, who was never a particularly exciting hire, was cast aside with a buyout for $1.2 million and an undetermined amount of "longevity" money (probably not much since he was only at KSU for three years). This seemed like a fairly standard agreement, and Prince has since gone back to Virginia (where he was previously a coordinator) as a special-teams coach.

But to say that things have suddenly gotten weird would be an understatement. The school has sued Prince over an additional $3.2 million in deferred compensation included in a contract that was signed on the same day as his 2008 contract extension -- agreed to with former AD Bob Krause -- that would have paid him about $1 million every other year from 2015-2020 if he were to be fired without cause.

The issue isn't whether the agreement exists -- it's that the school claims it had no idea the deferred compensation was agreed to and that it was never approved by the administration. Kansas State president Jon Wefald explained the lawsuit by saying that "we do regard this secret agreement as null and void.”

Huh? Why in the world would an athletic director try to conceal the terms of a coach's buyout (if he did indeed to try to conceal them)? And if he wasn't trying to conceal them, why was the deal signed in a separate contract from the three-year extension the school had already approved? Very odd.

On the other hand, while I'm no lawyer, I have a hard time believing that the "oops we didn't know about that part" argument is gonna fly. A school official (the athletic director) signed off on a deal with someone under his authority (a coach), and unless there is some explicit requirement that a high-level administrator give his approval, I don't see what course of action Kansas State can take other than go after Krause to try to find out what the hell he was doing.

There are a lot of unanswered questions here; all I know is that there are some serious issues in the K-State athletic department.

1 comment:

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