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Coaches contracts come under scrutiny at regents meeting

Sean Miller's contract details to be voted on today

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Simon Asher | The Daily Wildcat

A dejected Sean Miller looks out onto the crowd in Boise, Idaho after a blowout loss to Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15. On Friday, April 6, the Board of Regents' will vote on a measure that could punish Miller if he is found to have violated NCAA rules or is indicted on criminal charges.

The Arizona Board of Regents approved a measure consolidating their policies for negotiating coaches' contracts. While all other items on the consent agenda were passed without discussion, the proposed contract revisions were singled out.

The revised policy change regarded when and under what circumstances the regents should be alerted of the potential hiring of a new coach or extension of a current coach's contract at any of the three state universities for football, basketball and baseball.

"We have felt a bit behind the eight ball," said Regent Lyndel Manson. "Terms are agreed upon before we see the contracts, we need to be involved — especially with the high profile of athletics — we need to get ahead of that curve and put in place procedures and policies that protect the universities and students."

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The three university presidents offered some push back. Arizona State University President Michael Crow was particularly vocal in his dissent, noting the fast-moving nature of contract negotiations. 

"This is all good ... but terms and conditions of interactions are set by the nature of the battlefields," Crow said. "We have hours to find, negotiate and offer contracts to prospective coaches and athletic directors."

After discussion wrapped, the regents voted to approve the measure, with the caveat of adding guidelines to direct the policy.

The Arizona Board of Regents are scheduled to hear a measure Friday that could punitively punish head basketball coach Sean Miller to the tune of $1 million, taken from a longevity fund, if he is found to have violated major NCAA rules or is indicted on criminal charges.

Miller stands to lose all of the $4.1 million longevity fund if he is fired with cause. 

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The fund is tied to stock values belonging to Andeavor Logistics LP, a publicly traded energy and logistics corporation. As of Thursday, shares of Andeavor stock were trading for $45.88 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Up until the publishing of the regents' April Board Book, the name of the company attached to the longevity fund was unknown. Miller is currently vested in his shares, but is not eligible to collect on the total amount until May 31, 2020, per his contract. 

The contract was also updated to include new Title IX obligations regarding Miller's status as a "responsible employee," including "reporting requirements, cooperation with Title IX investigations, and participation in Title IX training's," according to the Regents' Board Book.


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