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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 18, 2008

UH: June Jones still owes $400,008

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

June Jones

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The University of Hawai'i is asking former football coach June Jones to pay $400,008 it says is owed for his departure to Southern Methodist University.

Under the terms of his final contract with UH, Jones owes the school liquidated damages representing half his base salary in the event he left before the June 30, 2008, expiration of the agreement to take another football coaching position.

According to the contract, the payment was due within 60 days of the departure. That would have been March 7, 2008, since Jones announced his exit for SMU on Jan. 7, six days after the Warriors completed their school-record 12-1 season in the Sugar Bowl.

"We have not received any payment from Coach Jones," Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw said through a spokesman. "We are in contact with June and his representatives in an effort to resolve this matter."

Leigh Steinberg, Jones' agent, said, "We're attempting to work it out. We've been in discussions (and) we're working on a resolution."

At UH, Jones earned $800,016, half of which the school said was to be underwritten by donors.

At SMU, Jones is to receive a reported $1.85 million to $2 million per year for the life of a five-year deal.

The UH contract said Jones 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 ..."

So-called buy-out clauses are a common element in coaching contracts.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.