Tuesday, August 11, 2009

K-State caught with their contractual pants down?

By John Taylor

August 10, 2009

This past May, Kansas State filed a lawsuit against Ron Prince in which it was claimed by the school that the former head coach entered into a secret agreement with the former athletic director, an agreement that entitled Prince to $3.2 million in deferred compensation.

Subsequently, an independent audit revealed that there were additional deals between four other persons connected with the university, including current head coach Bill Snyder, that were similar to the one signed by Prince.

With that in mind, CFT has obtained a copy of a release entitled "Coach Ron Prince Files "Answer and Counterclaims" to Kansas State University's "Amended Complaint." The release was written by the agency that represents Prince, NC Sports, LLC.

It appears below, in its entirety.

And, if you are a fan of the Wildcats or a current member of the administration, we strongly urge you to look away. It's does not paint a pretty or flattering picture of the institution:

The contract between Coach Ron Prince and the Intercollegiate Athletic Council of Kansas State University, Inc. ("IAC," now known as K-State Athletics) was negotiated in good faith, mutually agreed upon, and understood as legally binding when it was signed by all parties. Kansas State University ("KSU") has brought an unfair action against Coach Prince, reneging on this contract between him and IAC, even though the contract was conceived, suggested, and drafted by KSU and the IAC.

The contract between Coach Prince and KSU was drafted by the University's attorney, Jacqueline R. Butler. It guaranteed a portion of Coach Prince's contract. In determining fair compensation should the University elect to terminate Coach Prince without cause, both parties agreed that the remainder of the contract should also be guaranteed. However, KSU insisted that the additional guarantee be contained in a separate, confidential memorandum. As a result, Ms. Butler was asked to remove language from the "public" contract which had stated that it was "the entire agreement between the parties" since that was no longer going to be true. Ms. Butler removed that language from the "public" contract specifically to allow for the type of legally binding contract that was signed between IAC and Coach Prince. Coach Prince did not request such confidentiality, nor did he care whether the agreement was public, but accommodated the University's request. The signatures of Coach Prince on both documents were requested at the same time in a singular fax document and were returned at the same time; the parties both agreed to the terms, signed, and understood it was legally binding.

The use of such arrangements is not uncommon. In fact, an independent audit conducted by KSU itself has revealed arrangements for at least four other KSU individuals which appear similar to the contract signed between Coach Prince and IAC, including: Tim Weiser (former Athletic Director); Bob Cavello (former Senior Associate Athletic Director for Administration and Finance); Bob Krause (former Athletic Director and Vice President for Institutional Advancement); and Bill Snyder (former and now current Head Football Coach).

In light of these compelling facts, the contract between Coach Prince and IAC is legally binding, and the legal position taken by KSU and IAC in this matter is without merit.

And boom goes the dynamite.

It was one thing for Kansas State to fire a coach who not only beat Texas two out of three years, but took over a K-State team devoid of talent due to their now-current coach leaving the Manhattan cupboard bare upon retirement.

It's another thing to attempt to withhold payment of money that Prince is legally entitled to receive, and publicly drag the three-year coach's name through the mud.

One of these days, though, maybe Kansas State will learn that you don't mess with Mother Nature... or cheat the clients of Neil Cornrich.

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