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Mizzou

Missouri Boosts Buyout Penalty In Haith Contract

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Frank Haith speaks to reporters after being introduced as the 17th head men's basketball coach at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri on April 5, 2011.  Haith comes to Missouri after spending seven seasons at the University of Miami as their head basketball coach. UPI/University of Missouri

Frank Haith speaks to reporters after being introduced as the 17th head men’s basketball coach at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri on April 5, 2011. Haith comes to Missouri after spending seven seasons at the University of Miami as their head basketball coach. UPI/University of Missouri

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri has made it much more expensive for its new men’s basketball coach to leave before his contract is up.

The school that lost former head coach Mike Anderson to Arkansas two months ago has sharply increased the buyout penalty for Frank Haith, his successor.

The buyout starts at $1.2 million after one year and gradually decreases to $500,000 by year four. Anderson’s contract capped the buyout penalty at $550,000, an amount equal to two years of his base salary.

“We want to make sure we’re surrounding ourselves with people who want to be at Mizzou,” said athletic director Mike Alden.

Missouri released copies of Haith’s contract Monday, nine days after it was signed by Haith, Alden and other university leaders. He will earn $1.5 million annually and an extra $100,000 in yearly deferred compensation starting in 2013. He can earn another $825,000 in incentives that range from $25,000 apiece for winning the Big 12 regular season and its conference tournament to another $150,000 for taking Missouri to its first Final Four.

Meeting the team’s academic and community involvement goals will net Haith another $100,000, as will exceeding 13,000 in average attendance at Mizzou Arena.

Haith also gets a pool of $750,000 to pay his three assistant coaches as well as his director of basketball operations and the team’s strength and conditioning coach. That’s a $150,000 boost from the amount provided to Anderson.

Alden said the increase for Haith’s assistants is designed in part to foster loyalty to the school and lessen the chances that an assistant would jump to another job.

Haith, 45, comes to Columbia after seven years at Miami. In his first head coaching job, Haith went 129-101 with the Hurricanes, including 43-69 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Under Haith, the ‘Canes made the NCAA tournament once, losing in the second round in 2008.

He replaces Anderson, who left Missouri after five seasons, three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and a school-best 77 wins over the past three seasons. Anderson, who headed south to the school where he spent 17 years as a Nolan Richardson assistant, earned $1.55 million at Missouri, excluding incentives, but now earns $2.2 million annually at Arkansas.

Haith has a five-year deal at Missouri but will automatically earn a one-year extension on May 1, 2012. And his guaranteed salary will automatically increase by $50,000 each year.

Missouri also reduced the amount of money it would owe its men’s basketball coach should he be fired.

In that instance, Haith would receive a payment equal to his base salary of $350,000 multiplied by the number of years remaining on his contract. Anderson’s contract called for a minimum severance payment of $500,000.

Missouri is negotiating with Arkansas for payment of the $550,000 owed by Anderson, said Tim Hickman, senior associate athletic director for operations. The school expects to receive a lump sum payment less than the full amount owed in exchange for a quicker payout, he said.

Copyright Associated Press

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