Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Men's College Basketball [Print without images]

Friday, November 16, 2007
Gillispie without contract seven months after hiring

Associated Press

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.