University to disclose Jones' contract

Updated: August 15, 2003, 11:30 PM ET

HONOLULU -- The University of Hawaii plans to comply with a directive from the state Office of Information Practices and make public the current and pending contracts of football coach June Jones, officials said.

"We find that, because of the public nature of his position and the fact that he is one of the, if not the, highest-paid state employees, Coach Jones' privacy interests relating to the contract are outweighed by the public's right to know," the state office said in a ruling issued Thursday.

Compliance with the order could come by Monday, university spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka said.

"We will, of course, release the contract," university President Evan Dobelle said Thursday. "It's in keeping with my openness policy."

Jones did not immediately comment on the ruling.

Jones, who in June reached an agreement with the university on a five-year contract worth more than $4 million, has said he won't sign the deal until he receives assurances that part of it will remain confidential.

In announcing the new contract, Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier and other officials said individuals from the private sector would pay for half of Jones' $800,016 annual salary, but they refused to identify those people or reveal other terms of the contract.

Jones reached a similar confidentiality agreement when he signed his original five-year contract in 1999. Since then, news organizations and others have sought to have details of the contract made public.

Once the new deal is signed, "the university will also release Coach Jones' new contract," the university said in a news release.

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