CRAWFORD | Louisville approves up to $4.25 million for Mack's Xavier buyout
The University of Louisville on Friday approved a $4.25 million liquidation of athletic reserves to pay the Xavier buyout of new men's basketball coach Chris Mack.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – In contract terms, this was an amount to be named later. As part of new basketball coach Chris Mack's deal with the University of Louisville, the school agreed to his buyout at Xavier, plus pay a tax “gross-up” for additional taxes he would owe as a result of that added income.
During a meeting of the U of L Athletic Association budget meeting on Friday, that number became public. The ULAA board voted to liquidate $4.25 million from the Hickman-Camp fund to pay to Xavier to satisfy Mack’s buyout.
The actual cost of the buyout (called in his U of L contract a “Signing Bonus), will be around $3 million, according to athletics director Vince Tyra, with the additional money going to Mack to pay the taxes. Any leftover money will be for facility and branding updates in the Yum! Center basketball practice facility.
“That’s the cost of doing business,” Tyra said. “You see it written into his contract with us, and you even see it in the Olympic sports. We’ll have it in Ken Lolla’s contract when it comes out, a more significant buyout than there was in the past.”
Mack’s buyout at U of L begins at $6 million, then decreases by $500,000 per year through March of 2024. The contract also includes an interesting non-compete agreement – if Mack leaves U of L, he has agreed in this contract not to work for another Atlantic Coast Conference school for three years.
Mack signed a 7-year deal worth a base salary of $4 million annually in late March. He had signed a contract extension at Xavier last September, through the 2022-23 season.
The Hickman-Camp fund is the primary scholarship endowment fund of the U of L Athletics Association. The withdrawal for Mack's buyout represents just under 25 percent of the $18.3 current market value of that fund, and 17 percent of all the department's reserves, which had a balance of just over $25 million at the end of 2017.
Louisville's payment to Xavier will be a one-time direct payment, with the tax gross-up going directly to Mack.
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