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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jones owes UH $400,008 for leaving, contract states

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Former Hawai'i football coach June Jones hands an autographed football to Xachary Bourgeoix during a visit to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, La., on Dec 29. A few days later, the Warriors played Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

CHARLIE RIEDEL | Associated Press

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Football coach June Jones will leave behind more than a history-making 12-1 season at the University of Hawai'i.

He is also obligated to pay the school $400,008 in liquidated damages for the early departure from his contract, according to a spokeswoman.

Carolyn Tanaka, associate vice president for external affairs and university relations, said "we assume he will do the right thing and live up to the (terms) of his contract."

Jones announced Monday he was leaving UH after nine seasons to become head coach at Southern Methodist University, where he will receive a salary of approximately $2 million per year of a five-year contract.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement Jones signed with UH in 2003, he owes the school $400,008 the amount the school paid him for one season "if he terminates this agreement prior to June 30, 2008," according to the contract.

Though Jones received $800,016 per year from UH, the school said half of it was paid by donations.

A clause in the agreement would have allowed him to exit in the fourth or fifth years for an NFL head coaching job under the same terms.

The contract said he was prohibited from accepting employment "under any circumstances as a men's football coach at any institution of higher education which is a member of the NCAA, or for any men's football team participating in any professional league or conference in the United States ... " prior "to the expiration date of the term of this agreement ... without first obtaining a written release or a negotiated settlement."

The contract states that "in the event the university releases coach of his obligations under this agreement, coach shall be responsible for paying to the university liquidated damages ... "

Leigh Steinberg, Jones' agent who negotiated the contract and also oversaw negotiations with SMU, was not immediately available for comment.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.