Sports Outside the Beltway

Hawaii reaches financial agreement with former football coach

It stems from a dispute between the University and June Jones after he left Hawaii for SMU earlier this year. From AP-

Hawaii has resolved its financial dispute with former football coach June Jones over the early termination of his contract, officials said Friday.

Under the agreement, the June Jones Foundation has donated $100,010 to a scholarship fund for students pursing degrees in Hawaiian studies or language. In addition, an undisclosed donor has contributed $100,000 to the school.

“Hawaii is my home; therefore as I look beyond our past achievements in football, maintaining a healthy relationship with UH and sustaining productive contributions to our island communities will always be important to me,” Jones said in a statement.

He also encouraged his former team to beat Notre Dame in next week’s Hawaii Bowl.

The university has said it was owed $400,008 in damages because Jones left Hawaii before his five-year contract expired June 30. The figure represents half his annual salary with the Warriors.

Jones resigned and accepted a job worth about $2 million a year at Southern Methodist, six days after Hawaii lost to Georgia in last January’s Sugar Bowl to finish the season 12-1.

Under his Hawaii contract, Jones was prohibited from accepting employment “under any circumstances” as a football coach at any NCAA school or professional team in the United States before the expiration date … “without first obtaining a written release or a negotiated settlement.”

“In the event the university releases coach of his obligations under this agreement, coach shall be responsible for paying to the university liquidated damages,” Jones’ contract stated.

If Jones had asked for Hawaii’s permission like most coaches do, he may have avoided the payments. Hawaii had a right to go after their former coach but it could do long term damage to the school by discouraging potential applicants from taking a job in fear they would have a repeat of the Jones affair should they want to leave.

Update- Ian Lind has an interesting post that delves into the donations to the Foundation in question. He writes “So how in the world does money collected by the foundation for charitable purposes get used to pay off the contractual debt of the former coach who just happens to also be the foundation’s chairman?”

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