Monson buyout spread out

Monson is still considered a University employee until March 31, 2007.

by Sam Darcy

Seven games into this season, former University men’s basketball coach Dan Monson offered his resignation, but the University won’t give him his last paycheck until 2008.

Monson resigned Thursday and received a contract buyout worth more than $1.3 million.

According to the Nov. 30 settlement between the University and Monson, the former coach will receive half of the $1,100,590 cash buyout on April 1, 2007, and the other half on Jan. 2, 2008.

Although Monson’s resignation as coach took effect immediately, he will continue to be a University employee until March 31, 2007. The University will also provide him a car through June of next year, provided he stays in the state, the settlement states.

The agreement terminated Monson’s original contract, signed in July 1999, and two amendments to it, made in 2000 and 2002.

Splitting the buyout into two payments allows Monson to spread out his tax liability, said University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg.

Monson only could have received a smaller buyout if he had given the school a serious reason to fire him, such as an NCAA violation, Rotenberg said.

Clem Haskins, whom Monson replaced, negotiated a $1.5 million buyout with the University in June 1999. Haskins left the program after an academic scandal that left the athletic department under NCAA probation for much of Monson’s tenure.

In addition to the buyout, Monson will receive his base salary through the end of the year, worth $200,000, said Kyle Coughlin, senior associate director of University Athletics. Money for the salary and buyout has already been allocated, he said.

“The money comes from within the athletic department budget; it doesn’t come from outside,” he said.

Coughlin said interim head coach and former assistant Jim Molinari’s current salary is $130,080. Rotenberg predicted Molinari will receive a raise in his new position, but that will be determined by athletics director Joel Maturi, who was not available for comment Monday.

English junior Matt Damico said Monson shouldn’t have been able to receive a buyout from the University.

“It doesn’t seem fair that Monson gets all that money for coming out and saying that he’s not good at his job,” he said.

Psychology senior Rick Rasmussen said that while he understands why the University doesn’t hand over one lump sum to Monson, he’d rather see the two cut ties as soon as possible.

“I think it would be better for both sides if they could just get this over with and part ways,” Rasmussen said. “It’s probably easier for the University’s budget to spread out the payments over a long period of time, but they could have two new coaches by the time Monson is done getting paid.”`