Louisville reaches $4.5 million settlement with fired athletic director Tom Jurich

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Look back at Tom Jurich’s 19 years as the Athletic Director of the University of Louisville through the images from the Courier-Journal.
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The University of Louisville has reached a settlement with ex-athletic director Tom Jurich following his firing amid a college basketball recruiting scandal.

Louisville’s board of trustees and athletic association board of directors approved the settlement at a special joint meeting Friday. 

The settlement is for $4.5 million. His personnel file will say he was terminated without cause as a result of his resignation.

“I have spent the better part of my career working with a dedicated team of athletes, coaches, and staff to elevate the University of Louisville’s Athletic Department and I am proud of what we accomplished which is well documented,” Jurich said in a statement.

Jurich was fired with cause in October after the school’s men’s basketball program became ensnared in a recruiting scandal involving an FBI investigation.

Former men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino also was fired and quickly sued the university’s athletic association, claiming breach of contract. Jurich didn’t take his controversial dismissal to court, though sources close to him recently said a lawsuit had been prepared.

Related: Tom Jurich’s legacy: bold businessman or bully? Depends on who you ask

See also: Huge raises for Tom Jurich’s son show how Louisville ignored its own rule

Instead of suing, Jurich’s negotiations with the university resulted in the agreement the the school’s boards approved Friday. 

“Everyone is pleased that this matter has been successfully resolved,” Louisville board of trustees chairman J. David Grissom said in a statement. “All parties can move forward to begin the next chapter.”

Jurich’s termination and the fallout have been contentious.

Interim president Greg Postel sent Jurich a scathing termination letter last October, which Jurich’s legal team from the Frost Brown Todd law firm called an “after-the-fact effort to justify an unwarranted termination” with allegations that attempted to smear his reputation. That letter will be excluded from Jurich’s personnel file as part of Friday’s settlement.

“Your deliberate dereliction of duties, unprofessional conduct, bullying, and breach of your fiduciary obligations cannot be isolated events,” Postel wrote to Jurich at the time. “Instead, they are illustrative of a pattern and practice of willful misconduct resulting in substantial detriment to the University.”

In that letter, Postel also told Jurich all “unearned and unvested compensation, benefits, and other incentives in your Employment Contract shall be forfeited.”

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