Hawaii, Jones still waiting to resolve $400K contract issue

Updated: April 23, 2008, 8:53 PM ET
Associated Press

HONOLULU -- Hawaii has not been able to resolve its dispute with former football coach June Jones over $400,008 the school says it is owed for the early termination of his contract.

Jones' agent, Leigh Steinberg, told The Honolulu Advertiser that the matter was in the initial stages of being submitted to an arbitrator.

The university said it is owed $400,008 in damages, representing half of Jones' annual salary at Hawaii, for terminating his five-year contract that expires June 30, 2008.

The contract specifies payment within 60 days of his departure, which passed on March 7.

Jones resigned and accepted a job worth about $2 million a year at Southern Methodist six days after Hawaii lost to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to finish the season 12-1.

Steinberg said there was an agreement with former athletics director Herman Frazier that "after three years, there would be no penalty if coach Jones were to leave the university. If that were not the case, coach Jones would always honor a contractual obligation."

The university said there was no record on file allowing an early exit and no changes to the contract. Frazier was fired a day after Jones' announcement and has not been available for comment.

Under the contract, Jones was prohibited from accepting employment "under any circumstances" as a football coach at any NCAA school or professional team in the United States before the expiration date ... "without first obtaining a written release or a negotiated settlement."

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


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE