WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Gillispie working, but hasn't signed a contract

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - More than seven months after agreeing to
become Kentucky's basketball coach, Billy Gillispie still hasn't
signed a formal contract.
Because the coach and university haven't agreed to the specific
language, athletics director Mitch Barnhart said Friday that
Gillispie would remain employed under a two-page memorandum of
understanding that details his compensation package.
"UK is comfortable with letting the memorandum of understanding
serve as an employment agreement since it contains all important
elements," Barnhart said. "It's a great financial package - one
of the best in college basketball. We're happy to have Billy
Gillispie as our basketball coach."
The memorandum, signed April 6 - the day Gillispie was announced
as coach - stipulates "every reasonable effort" would be made to
conclude the contract talks within 60 days. Kentucky (1-1) faces
Liberty Wednesday in its third game.
Barnhart didn't say what had delayed negotiations. Gillispie,
who doesn't have an agent, has declined to discuss the matter
during preseason news conferences, saying only lawyers were working
out the details.
Gillispie, who replaced Tubby Smith as coach, has a seven-year
agreement that pays him $2.3 million a year in base salary,
broadcasting fees and endorsements, with raises of $75,000 each
year.
There also are annual performance incentives up to $750,000 and
academic incentives of up to $100,000. The university also holds
the option of extending the contract by two years.
If the school fires Gillispie without cause, he would be
entitled to a $1.5 million buyout for each year remaining on the
contract.
If he is fired with cause, such as the result of a violation of
NCAA or university rules, the memorandum doesn't stipulate what, if
any, compensation Gillispie would receive. It says the two sides
would agree to that language separately.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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