University of Louisville to pay fired AD Tom Jurich more than $7 million in settlement
The University of Louisville has agreed to a settlement with its former longtime athletics director Tom Jurich, who was fired in October following a recruiting scandal in the men’s basketball program.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville has agreed to pay more than $7 million to its former longtime athletics director Tom Jurich, who was fired in October following a recruiting scandal in the men’s basketball program, to settle claims over Jurich’s termination.
The settlement consists of a negotiated $4.5 million payment, another $2.7 million in deferred and retirement pay that Jurich had accumulated through the U of L Foundation; medical coverage for Jurich and his wife until they become eligible for Medicare; and eight club-level tickets, with two parking passes, for U of L football and men’s basketball games for 20 years.
Jurich also convinced the university to change its position and deem his firing to be “without cause” – meaning the university no longer contends that Jurich failed to perform his duties.
The university also agreed to rescind an Oct. 20 letter in which former interim president Greg Postel skewered Jurich, accusing him of misconduct, failing to supervise his coaches and divisive leadership.
“Everyone is pleased that this matter has been successfully resolved,” U of L board of trustees Chairman David Grissom said in a prepared statement. “All parties can move forward to begin the next chapter.”
Grissom left a joint meeting of the trustees and university athletic boards on Friday morning without speaking to reporters.
Jurich also was not available for interviews, his spokesman Bob Gunnell said.
In a statement issued by U of L, Jurich said: “I have spent the better part of my career working with a dedicated team of athletes, coaches and staff to elevate the University of Louisville’s athletic department, and I am proud of what we accomplished, which is well documented.”
During Jurich’s 20-year tenure, U of L’s athletics program made giant leaps forward, including ascending to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.
But the basketball program became mired in back-to-back scandals, leading to the stripping of its 2013 national championship and to Jurich’s ouster.
Unlike Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino, whom U of L also fired last year, Jurich did not sue the university over his termination.
But Jurich’s attorneys have been quietly negotiating for months with attorneys representing U of L over Jurich’s contract, which gave him employment through 2026.
Former U of L President James Ramsey even promised Jurich a year’s total compensation – a figure likely in the millions – if he were fired for “good cause,” such as misconduct.
The university said last year it wouldn’t honor various memos and agreements between Jurich and Ramsey, which the university claims were not appropriately approved.
Jurich’s total compensation was $5.35 million in 2016, and averaged $2.76 million a year from 2010 to 2016, according to a forensic investigation of the U of L Foundation released in June 2017. (The foundation provided part of Jurich’s compensation.)
In firing Jurich last year, Postel accused him of a “consistent and willful lack of supervision of head coaches” and noted “multiple compliance lapses occurring in multiple sports.”
“(Y)our own willful misconduct has also been demonstrated through ineffective management, divisive leadership, unprofessional conduct, and a lack of collegiality best characterized as intimidation and bullying that extends from student government to the University's senior leadership,” Postel wrote. “This has caused substantial damage to the University.”
But that letter will be stricken from Jurich’s personnel file as part of the settlement.
Here is the settlement agreement: