Archive for Monday, November 28, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Gill’s contract states KU owes him about $200k in retention bonuses, too; Lariviere could be ousted as UO president today; foreign student recruiters come under fire

November 28, 2011


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• So, we’re looking for a new football coach. That should come as no surprise to anyone (except perhaps — based on his Missouri postgame interview — Turner Gill).

The fact that Kansas Athletics owes him $6 million over the next 90 days has been widely reported, but I noticed in reading the official statement from Kansas Athletics that they said they would be paying “some $6 million” to Gill over the next 90 days.

That was curious to me, as I was only aware that KU owed Gill exactly $2 million per year for the next three years based on his annual salary.

So I went back and read his contract. You can, too. Here it is.

In reading the contract, it’s rather obvious that KU terminated Gill pursuant to section 13 of the contract, “Termination Without Cause.”

That section outlines the payment of Gill’s remaining $2 million per year compensation — one-third due within 30 days, one-third due within 60 days and the remaining third within 90 days.

But, in addition to his $2 million salary, he’s also due an annual retention bonus of $100,000 per year.

Here’s that retention bonus agreement.

Under the terms of Gill’s contract, if Kansas Athletics terminates him without cause, he’s also due $100,000 for the first year, and a pro-rated sum based on the number of days he’s served for this year. Using the formula outlined in his retention agreement, that comes out to just over $90,000.

At least Gill will pay the taxes on these bonus payments — unlike the bonuses for basketball coach Bill Self and former AD Lew Perkins.

So it’s really not $6 million Kansas Athletics owes Turner Gill over the next 90 days, it’s really closer to $6.2 million, according to the contract.

Maybe it’s not that a big of deal — that extra $200,000 or so — but I’ll say this. If anyone has an extra $200,000 lying around they don’t know what do with, I’d certainly be willing to take it off their hands. And it shows that there's some real money hiding in some of the substructures of athletics contracts today.

It’ll be interesting to see if the next coaching contract — which will be signed by athletic director Sheahon Zenger, and not Perkins — will be structured in a similar manner to this one.

• It’s been an interesting weekend for the situation surrounding former KU Provost Richard Lariviere, who remains, at least for the moment, president of the University of Oregon.

As we reported last week, his governing board told him that his contract would not be renewed.

Since then, he’s received the backing of a cadre of faculty members and other university stakeholders, including Nike’s Phil Knight, a major Oregon donor and supporter.

The state’s governor, however, backed the board, which could terminate him as soon as this afternoon.

The Register-Guard, the newspaper covering Eugene, Ore., reported the governor had directed Lariviere to “hold the line” on faculty salary increases to “allow for a consistent, systemwide policy on salaries.”

Lariviere just went ahead and approved increases for many administrators and faculty anyway. That made him popular with Oregon’s faculty, but didn’t exactly endear him to his bosses.

It’s been an interesting thing to watch, especially since I heard similar kinds of complaints about Lariviere while he was here, and it says something about the way higher education functions in general. Some folks, it seems, get frustrated with the glacial pace at which things move in higher education sometimes.

It’ll be interesting to see what Oregon’s board does today.

• Here’s an interesting article from the Associated Press from over the weekend about foreign student recruiters.

These sorts of recruiters, paid by the number of students they get to come to the United States, are apparently coming under fire for the quality of their applicants.

Lots more on this in the AP article.

I’ll admit, I don’t have a good sense of how these folks are used at KU, but I may look closer at it over the course of this week. If you have some insight, feel free to let me know.

• Take a break from munching on cold turkey sandwiches and send me a tip for Heard on the Hill to


Getaroom 6 years, 6 months ago

Added to KU Athletics current debt load of $58 million, this will bring the total to $64,000,000,200.00! It is likely that the next public release statement out of KUA will be that it is a "manageable debt". Lest anyone one forget, included in money lavished on the next enthroned Lord of Football, will be money spent to remodel the coaches offices. Offices made over in his own image and a cadre of support staff hired-in on top of all those frills. Just peanuts I suppose and besides the next guy shouldn't be punished for the failures of the back to back Good Cop, Bad Cop coaches right?

Ah, no big deal, it's just money and them again it's just about the money.

Once the dust settles on the exchange of cash, whether his tail is between his legs or not, coach Turner Gill will be a multimillionaire (over night)!!

Perhaps by the time a new season rolls around and the armored truck full of cash has pulled up, maybe the players names will be back on jerseys and fans won't have to memorize any more numbers to go with names. Really, the zeros on paychecks(including BIG Macs) have nearly made fans go blind. I am thinking that the football stadium's JumboTron needs to include a giant calculator and every time KU Football loses a conference game, money is taken away from the coaches salary! Can we get a vote on that?

OK, KU football fans, who out there wants to be an instant Millionaire? Get your playbooks updated and memorized(for once) and your applications submitted, the hiring clock is ticking away.

In the mean time KUA, think hard about "Fritzelizing" Varsity House to make a nice handy new home for the next multimillionaire coach to hang out in a for a few years. Nice signing bonus........

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

$10 million for two years of a losing football coach.

Donors buying out his contract to the tune of $6 million.

This is reprehensible and highlights the insane position that college athletics has in the university. I realize that it is all about money, but it makes the research and education mission of the university look like a second thought, which apparently it is.

How many donors would pony up $6 million for endowed professorships to keep the professors at KU? The answer: none or very few.

$6 million would endow at least 4 science professorships and many more in the humanities and social sciences.


ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 6 months ago

Why? Don't the research and education of a university benefit from a profitable, exciting athletic department?

Maybe someone else can help me out here -- there was a large donation, I believe of more than $1 million, toward KU academics from the Athletic Dept. within the last year or two, during the renovation of the new football facilities or parking or something. I wasn't successful at Googling it.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

No, they don't. KUAC is a separate corporation with separate fundraising. One could argue it is not a zero sum game, but money donated to KUAC and money from ticket sales and merchandise stay with KUAC and do not go to the greater university.

A few years ago, Lew Perkins made a big deal of his proposal to "donate" some amount, $14 million sounds right, to the university coupled to remodeling of the east endzone of the stadium.

This plan fell through, of course, with the football nosedive and the firing of Perkins.

However, it was a big deal precisely because of its rarity. KUAC does not "donate" money to the university on a regular basis.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 6 months ago

It's a business cost. They have a kajillion dollars. They gonna pay him & move on. I hope it's Leach.

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