Beilein gets off easy
That $2.5 million buyout clause John Beilein had in his contract to coach basketball at West Virginia University became smaller last week when Beilein and WVU agreed to settle the matter for $1.5 million.
While Beilein has yet to offer any reason for his sudden departure from West Virginia, the buyout clause in his contract has been tossed around as the reason Beilein became increasingly frustrated in Morgantown. Mention has been made of an alleged meeting in the athletic director's office from which Beilein exited in such anger that his door slam rattled pictures on the wall.
Why Beilein thought WVU would reduce or eliminate the buyout is unclear. I mean they did neither and Beilein left anyway, in spite of the fact WVU matched the Michigan offer of $1.3 million a year.
Many WVU fans are upset, and virtually all are extremely curious as to how Beilein's buyout was reduced by a million dollars. A threat of a law suit was mentioned as a factor, though it was never made clear to this writer what grounds Beilein would have had to take WVU to court. WVU must have left itself exposed somewhere in the Beilein pact, but not to the point where the contract could be voided.
I have heard that the whole story will eventually come out, but for now very little is known. What we know is Beilein is gone. He will send a $300,000 check to the Mountaineer Athletic Club for the next five years.
Now, factor in that new head coach Bob Huggins will work the first year of his contract for $800,000 which is $500,000 less than WVU was willing to pay Beilein to stay. Add Beilein's payment to the equation and the picture isn't all that bad. Sure, it would have been great to see Beilein have to pay the full amount, but WVU did not fare badly at all.
Huggins for Beilein for less money?