LSU, ex-hoops coach Chatman agree to $160K settlement

Updated: June 15, 2007, 11:01 PM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU and former women's basketball coach Pokey Chatman on Friday ended a monthslong dispute, working out a contract settlement in the wake of her abrupt resignation from the school.

LSU offered Chatman another $85,000 in postseason bonus money, on top of the $75,000 both sides agreed she is due under the disputed contract, for a total of $160,000.

Last week Mary Olive Pierson, Chatman's attorney, proposed that her client was owed $170,000, arguing that possible postseason incentives in the contract should be cumulatively added together instead of being restricted to a capped amount.

LSU System spokesman Charles Zewe said the university decided to extend the "cumulative" incentive clause to Chatman because other LSU coaches have such clauses in their contracts.

"It got to be a question of equity," Zewe said. "The only fair thing to do was to read her contract in that manner too."

In a letter Friday to LSU System general counsel Raymond Lamonica, Pierson said, "I have been authorized to say the following: Settlement at $160,000 is acceptable and agreed upon."

Chatman resigned March 7, after assistant coach Carla Berry raised allegations of improper conduct with a former player or players.

In an April 13 letter to Lamonica, Pierson said Chatman would sue the university if an amicable resolution could not be reached over the remainder of the contract.

"Coach Chatman is very happy that it has been resolved," Pierson said late Friday. "It was an amicable resolution, but it was not too friendly getting here."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press