Kim Anderson, the former head coach of Mizzou basketball, has agreed to step down from the position after the team’s likely one Southeastern Conference tournament game on Wednesday.
While the effect of Anderson’s departure is the same regardless of how it is happening, the language of how the transition is taking place is of vital importance for both Anderson and Mizzou in terms of the money involved.
According to Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, athletic director Jim Sterk asked Anderson to step down as men’s basketball coach at the end of the season.
The fact that Anderson agreed to do so, and didn’t make the state’s board of regents fire him or leave without being asked to step down, is a huge cost savings to both Anderson and Mizzou because of the language of the contract between both parties.
Anderson’s deal with the school, made public in 2014 after he has hired, has a standard buyout clause. The clause stated that had Mizzou fired him “without cause” (poor on-court performances of the team isn’t generally considered justifiable reason for termination via many legal precedents), the school would have activated the buyout clause.
The clause states that Mizzou would have owed Anderson his base salary for the remainder of his contract. Anderson had two years left on his contract, and the contract states that his base salary was $300,000. Thus the cost to fire Anderson would have been $600,000. The way that this transaction went down also saved Anderson some money as well.
The contract also states that if Anderson had left of his own accord, he would have owed Mizzou the same remainder of his base salary. The fact that Sterk asked him to step down alleviates Anderson from having to pay the school that same $600,000.
In the end, this deal was all about the money.
More from KC Kingdom
- Win $650 GUARANTEED Plus $100 Off NFL Sunday Ticket With Caesars, FanDuel and DraftKings Kansas Promos!
- This Plus-Money Bobby Witt Jr. Prop Bet is on Fire (Hit in 15/21 Games)!
- How to Bet on the Chiefs vs. Cardinals in NFL Preseason Week 2
- The Royals Need to Extend Bobby Witt Jr. Immediately
- The 3 Most Intriguing Games on the Chiefs’ Schedule
Sterk said in Matter’s article that,
"“the lack of on-court success has resulted in a significant drop in interest surrounding our program, and we could not afford for that to continue another year.”"
The revenue lost from alumni, donor and sponsor indifference at best as well as empty seats at Mizzou Arena mandated a change. It’s not all rosy financially for Missouri going forward, however.
On top of the cost of hiring an independent firm to assist with the school’s search for Anderson’s replacement, which is common practice, the school is likely to have to dangle a large amount of money to entice a desirable candidate.
Though Anderson’s annual base salary was $300,000, other stipulations in the contract brought his guaranteed pay up to $1.1 million a year. While that would be a tremendous raise for most Mizzou basketball fans, it’s actually on the extremely low end of what a lot of Anderson’s colleagues at other Power 5 schools are making.
Mizzou is likely to have to raise that annual salary significantly to attract a candidate that it wants and whose brand power and name recognition will help revitalize the men’s basketball program to the revenue-generator that Mizzou needs it to be. The savings from how it went about parting ways with Anderson will help pay for his replacement.