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Friday, March 11, 2011

Disappointment of the Week: Paul Hewitt's contract


The Georgia Tech men's basketball team lost in the opening round of the ACC tournament yesterday—59-43 to Virginia Tech—and finished the 2010-11 season with a record of 13-18.

Head coach Paul Hewitt has been in Atlanta for 11 years and—besides his team's national runner-up finish in 2004—done little to enthuse the Georgia Tech fanbase, student body and alumni thanks to numerous losing seasons and the overall underachievement of the men's basketball program.

Hewitt would've been fired three years ago had he been at any other school or, perhaps more importantly, signed any other contract. In particular, one that doesn't automatically renew itself:

It is the intention of the Parties to create an automatic “rollover” provision so that the Term of this Agreement will always have six (6) years remaining after the automatic rollover occurs. Commencing April 15, 2005 and on April 15th of each year thereafter, the Term of this Agreement shall be automatically extended by one (1) additional year so that, on April 15th of each year, the Term of this Agreement shall be six (6) years unless the Association determines that an extension rollover not be made and notifies Hewitt of its decision in writing not less than thirty (30) days prior to April 15th in any year during the Term.

Of course, there is a provision that allows Georgia Tech (the "Association" in the following excerpt) to terminate Hewitt whenever they want—as long as they pay out the remainder of his contract:

If Association terminates Hewitt’s employment Without Cause, Association shall compensate Hewitt for Association’s obligations under this Agreement by paying to Hewitt, in equal monthly installments over the remaining Term (as though his employment had not been terminated), the Minimum Compensation for each Contract Year that remained in the Term immediately prior to termination Without Cause.

In other words, the university would owe Hewitt at least $1.375 million dollars over the ensuing six years following his termination. That would be a payment of at least $8.25 million dollars just to get rid of the guy.

Who knows whether Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich will end the school's 11-year relationship with Hewitt following his third losing season in the past four years. One thing we do know is that former Tech AD Dave Braine wasn't living up to his surname when he drafted this contract six years ago.

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