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Gillispie without contract seven months after hiring

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Billy Gillispie still hasn't signed a
formal contract more than seven months after agreeing to become the
Kentucky's basketball coach.

Gillispie remains employed under a two-page memorandum of
understanding that details his compensation package, Athletic
Director Mitch Barnhart said Friday.

"UK is comfortable with letting the memorandum of understanding
serve as an employment agreement since it contains all important
elements," Barnhart said. "It's a great financial package -- one
of the best in college basketball. We're happy to have Billy
Gillispie as our basketball coach."

The memorandum, signed April 6 -- the day Gillispie was announced
as coach -- stipulates "every reasonable effort" would be made to
conclude the contract talks within 60 days. Kentucky (1-1) plays
Liberty on Wednesday.

Barnhart didn't say what had delayed negotiations. Gillispie
doesn't have an agent and has declined to discuss the matter during
preseason news conferences, saying only lawyers were working out
the details.

Gillispie, who replaced Tubby Smith, has a seven-year agreement
that pays him $2.3 million a year in base salary, broadcasting fees
and endorsements, with raises of $75,000 each year.

There also are annual performance incentives of up to $750,000
and academic incentives of up to $100,000. The university also
holds the option of extending the contract by two years.

If the school fires Gillispie without cause, he would be
entitled to a $1.5 million buyout for each year remaining on the
contract.

If he is fired with cause, such as the result of a violation of
NCAA or university rules, the memorandum doesn't stipulate what, if
any, compensation Gillispie would receive. It says the two sides
would agree to that language separately.