U of L Athletics Association to pick up tab for $6 million incen - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L Athletics Association to pick up tab for $6 million incentive pay promised to Jurich

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Tom Jurich and James Ramsey, April 2016 Tom Jurich and James Ramsey, April 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The University of Louisville Athletics Association plans to formally take responsibility to pay up to $6 million, and possibly more, to athletics director Tom Jurich under an incentive deal that former U of L President James Ramsey gave Jurich in 2014 through the U of L Foundation.

The athletics association’s board of directors had been set to consider Jurich’s “deferred compensation” package at a meeting Thursday, but U of L interim President Greg Postel tabled a resolution on the matter until the board’s June meeting.

Postel said lawyers are still “working on the language” of the agreement.

As WDRB reported in February, Ramsey in 2014 used the foundation’s now-defunct incentive pay program to promise Jurich, 60, an additional $3 million if he stays on the job until age 65 and another $3 million if he stays until age 70.

And, the final payouts could be much more than $6 million, because the money would be marked up with the same investment returns that the U of L Foundation earns for the school’s $785 million endowment, as if Jurich had invested in the endowment starting July 1, 2014.

Though the foundation made the agreement with Jurich, the document Ramsey executed in 2014 says the athletics association should pay the benefit.

Now under new leadership, the foundation ended its “deferred compensation” program on March 31. The organization accrued more than $20 million in liabilities to about a dozen U of L administrators during the life of the program.

When it ended the program, the foundation “cancelled” the compensation that Jurich had been promised in 2014, according to the athletics board resolution that was not voted on Thursday.

But Jurich “has acted in good faith reliance” on the promised money, and the athletics association agrees to pay Jurich “in an amount equivalent” to what the foundation document had promised “in light of Mr. Jurich’s accomplishments,” according to the resolution.

While the issue was tabled Thursday, Postel said the agreement is not being “reopened” for negotiation.

“We haven’t asked Mr. Jurich to make any changes,” Postel said. “It’s simply not ready to be acted on as it’s currently written.”

Jurich said it wasn’t his call to delay action on the resolution.

“If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have,” he said.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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