Someone with the Arizona Board of Regents has made a costly mistake.
In the wake of Sean Miller allegedly being caught on wiretaps offering to pay $100,000 for Deandre Ayton to play for the Arizona Wildcats, several details of Miller’s contract have emerged.
And there is one of the most expensive mistakes in college sports in there.
According to Darren Heitner of Forbes, a drafting error in the contract actually gives Miller more money if he’s fired with cause than if he’s just let go without cause.
Here is the section of Miller’s contract that details what he receives if fired without cause:
This Sixth Amendment may be terminated by the Director of his designated representative at any time without cause. In such event, the University shall pay to Coach as liquidated damages, in lieu of any and all other legal remedies or equitable relief, an amount calculated as follows for each year or pro rata portion remaining under this Sixth Amendment: fifty percent (50%) of that portion of Coach’s Base Salary (Program Salary plus Peripheral Duties Compensation) what would have been owed to him through the remaining period of this Sixth Amendment as provided in Section I but for termination under this Section, plus any Additional Compensation earned by Coach under Section IV prior to the date of termination. The above sums will not be reduced in the event of Coach’s subsequent employment during the period covered by this Sixth Amendment. Payment shall be made in one lump sum, less appropriate withholdings under state and federal law, within thirty (30) days of the date of termination.
So there’s the 50 percent, which would result in Miller receiving roughly $5.15 million if terminated sometime in the immediate future.
But in the section that details if he’s fired with cause, the contract states “the University’s sole obligation to Coach shall be the payment of his Base Salary as provided in Section III (and where applicable, any accrued Additional Compensation earned under Section IV prior to the date of such termination).”
There is no language that keeps Miller from receiving his entire base salary over the length of the contract, which is set to expire in 2022.
This mistake is so bad, that Heitner writes the following:
“A sports agent who has represented coaches in contract negotiations told me that no agent is stupid enough to ask for terms like what are found within Miller’s agreement, “because no school in their right mind would say yes.”
So in this instance, if Arizona does indeed decide to get rid of Miller, they should elect to do so without citing the most recent reports surrounding Arizona basketball as the reason.
Dave Heeke: “Sean, thanks for coming in. We’re gonna let you go.”— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) February 24, 2018
Miller: “Why are you firing me?”
Heeke: “No reason at all. Nothing happened. Just a different direction.”
Miller: "No, you’re firing me for cheating.”
Heeke: “Nope! Totally okay with that! No cause!" https://t.co/xYxXo6ZSQp
Also someone besides Miller should be losing their job for this.