Kansas City, Mo. Two months after Bob Huggins was introduced as Kansas State's new basketball coach, lawyers in Cincinnati and Manhattan, Kan., continue to haggle over his contract.
The sticking point in the five-year deal is over "specific language," Kansas State associate athletic director Jim Epps said, declining to elaborate. But he said major issues like length and compensation had been resolved for weeks.
He said the contract was in the hands of Huggins' attorney, Richard Katz, but hoped to have it signed by the end of the week.
"I can tell you this, we're down to literally the last couple of issues," Epps said. "Our attorneys sent our position on those issues (Monday), so most of the heavy lifting has been done."
Katz declined Wednesday to discuss what language in the contract was causing the holdup, although he said it had nothing to do with money or other major issues.
"All of the financial terms have been agreed upon," he said. "It's some language in other areas of the contract."
The deliberate pace of the negotiations stands in contrast to Missouri and Iowa State, where Mike Anderson and Greg McDermott were hired about the same time as Huggins and quickly signed long-term deals.
Missouri, which refused to interview Huggins as a replacement for Quin Snyder, agreed to pay Anderson a minimum of $850,000 annually over the next five years. McDermott signed a six-year, $3.9 million contract with the Cyclones.
"For the life of me I don't understand why Katz would quibble" over the contract, Epps said. "It's just a couple of issues that his attorney wants a greater definition on. We think we've accommodated that wish. I'll be curious."
Huggins, who is 567-199 in 24 seasons and was 399-127 at Cincinnati, was hired March 23.
Though the deal isn't technically done, Huggins already has started drawing paychecks, Epps said.
The 52-year-old coach has signed an annual appointment, which is required of all Kansas State employees and is separate from Huggins' multiyear contract. The appointment essentially states Huggins is employed, and Epps said his pay was predicated on his base salary.
That may explain why Huggins, when asked last week whether a contract had been signed, seemed as confused as anyone.
"I think it has," he said.