Mont. coach, AD due at least $147K under contractsMISSOULA, Mont. — Contracts for former University of Montana football coach Robin Pflugrad and former athletic director Jim O’Day indicate the school still owes them at least $147,000.
MISSOULA, Mont. — Contracts for former University of Montana football coach Robin Pflugrad and former athletic director Jim O’Day indicate the school still owes them at least $147,000.
UM President Royce Engstrom announced last week that he was not renewing either Pflugrad or O’Day and relieved them of their duties immediately.
Pflugrad’s contract included a provision allowing for his termination without cause, meaning he could be let go but would still be paid through the remainder of his deal.
Pflugrad is due $116,250 on his contract, which runs through the end of the year. His base salary is $155,000.
O’Day is owed $31,057 on his contract, which ends June 30. His base is $124,225.
Engstrom did not give a reason for the non-renewals, frustrating fans at a time when two football players — one current, one suspended — face allegations of sexual assault.
Labor law attorney Karl Englund told the Missoulian that the university’s decision not to outline a reason is probably wise, because Pflugrad and O’Day have a constitutional right to privacy.
“I’m sure the president has been reviewing all the different things that have been going on for some time and just decided, both in leadership of the department and in leadership of the football program, it was time to make a change,” O’Day said last week.
If the school fired someone “for cause” they could quit paying an employee, but the reason for the firing could be challenged.
Englund said not renewing a contract is often “the most prudent thing for the employer to do. If you’re fired, it’s for cause. Then you’re going to have a fight. Termination for cause can get litigious awfully quick. You can be in a dispute with a person for years and years and years, and they’re tremendously expensive.”
UM chief legal counsel David Aronofsky said Wednesday the university does not comment on personnel matters.
O’Day’s contract requires that he receive written notice at least five months before its expiration if it is not going to be renewed.
Englund said UM could be required to pay O’Day for another three months or his attorney could argue that O’Day is entitled to another full year of salary because he likely didn’t receive the required notice.
Aronofsky declined to comment on the notice requirement in O’Day’s contract Thursday.