Sean Miller’s job status has been in doubt after an ESPN report said he discussed paying $100,000 to secure the signing of Deandre Ayton, so the Arizona head coach’s contract details have been floating around the internet lately — and one strange quirk in particular.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported Saturday that Miller would actually receive more money from the UA ($10.3 million) if fired with cause than if he were fired without cause ($5.1 million).
JUST IN: Sean Miller’s contract, as written, somehow pays him more for getting fired with cause than without cause. So if Miller is fired with cause, Arizona will owe him approximately $5 million more ($10.3 million versus $5.15 million) than if they fired for no reason.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 24, 2018
Forbes’ Darren Heitner called it a drafting error by the school, and piled on by saying, “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’.”
It appeared to be a horrible mistake by UA’s administration, but according to Anne Ryman of AZCentral, it’s not and Miller won’t actually get paid more if fired with cause:
University officials said they recognize there might be some ambiguity in the contract language.
But they said the intent of the parties is clear, and intent has consistently been upheld in Arizona courts.
”Base Salary and any Additional Compensation are payable only to the date of termination,” the university said in a statement.
Miller, whose contract runs through 2022, is still owed about $12.2 million.
Ryman has a great breakdown of what Miller’s payout could like if he is indeed fired (along with some other analysis). You can find that here.
It definitely wouldn’t be $10.3 million.