Binghamton University has bought out the contract of former men's basketball coach Kevin Broadus, who guided the team to its first NCAA tournament and then watched the program quickly crumble.
In exchange for his resignation, which takes effect Monday, and withdrawal of all claims and potential future lawsuits, Broadus will receive a $1.2 million settlement. According to interim president C. Peter Magrath, Binghamton University will pay $819,115 and the State University of New York will pay $380,884.
Magrath said the settlement was about $400,000 larger than the amount due on Broadus's contract to include legal fees.
Broadus filed a racial discrimination lawsuit in March and one of his attorneys, Linda Kenney Baden, had asked for his reinstatement after the NCAA announced last week that an investigation found no major violations during Broadus's tenure.
Baden said the school contacted her the next day to get a settlement done.
"I think the settlement speaks for itself. It's a huge victory and a vindication," Baden said Thursday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "I think the NCAA closing the investigation shows that this was a tempest in a teapot. He didn't do anything wrong and others should be looked at, not Kevin Broadus."
A call by The Associated Press to Broadus seeking comment was not returned, but Baden said Broadus was thrilled because the settlement also "vindicates a lot of the young men who were collateral damage in this whole process."
"He thinks that it's a way for everybody to move forward," Baden said, adding that Broadus wanted to spend time with his family before making a public appearance.
Magrath said he had made a settlement with Broadus a priority since he took over in July and affirmed that interim coach Mark Macon would remain in that status until a new university president is selected.
Broadus was hired in 2007 and last year signed a contract extension through the 2013-2014 season on the heels of a season that featured the team's first-ever conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth.
The program was hit hard after star guard Emanuel Mayben was arrested just over a year ago on charges of selling crack cocaine. Five other players were then dismissed and Broadus was suspended with pay for making illegal contact with recruits.
A four-monthlong investigation of Binghamton's athletic department released in February concluded that the school had sacrificed academic standards to bolster its sports programs. It found that school officials failed to act when problems arose, including dubious enrollments and lax enforcement of academic standards for athletes.
Amidst the turmoil, the school's athletic director, Joel Thirer, resigned, and Binghamton elected not to play in the 2010 America East Conference men's basketball tournament.
The NCAA letter sent last week absolving the university of major infractions concluded that investigators were unable to find anything, in part, because "involved parties refused to cooperate with the investigation."