UCLA coach Steve Alford got a hug from Shaq on Tuesday, but got some far less welcoming news a day later.
New Mexico, his employer of the past six years, wants its full $1 million buyout before the end of the month. Alford had blindsided the school, taking a job with the Bruins just 10 days after the announcement of a 10-year extension with the Lobos.
According to documents obtained by the Albuquerque Journal, the school’s legal counsel is arguing that Alford’s original contract — signed in 2007 — required that he give 30 days notice before leaving for another job. Therefore, the school considers his last day to be April 29, and is demanding full payment by the same date.
Alford had signed a term sheet on March 18 that required him to pay a buyout of $1 million should he leave before April 1, 2015. However, the sheet also stated that terms were contingent upon the parties reaching a final written employment agreement.
The 48-year-old had said his previous buyout was $150,000, and indicated he was unsure of whether or not the new buyout terms would be enforceable.
“I’m not a lawyer,” he said in a teleconference on Saturday. “I’m just an Indiana grad that likes basketball. The lawyers will have to get together to figure that out.”