MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Mike Parsons can buy a lot of gold watches with the lump sum payment he'll receive from West Virginia University at the end of his 35 years with the university.
The deputy athletic director, who last week reached a settlement agreement with WVU after working in the athletic department since 1979, will receive the remainder of his $165,300 salary through June 30, his last official day with the university. A day later, WVU will make a one-time payment of $325,000 to Parsons. That payment frees WVU from "all claims of any kind."
The settlement agreement, signed Jan. 27 by Parsons and athletic director Oliver Luck, further asserts tension between Parsons and Luck to precede last week's action. The document says Parsons "raised various allegations and legal claims against the University and Mr. Luck" but that WVU denies "all such claims past and present" made by Parsons.
The agreement also says Parsons "waives and releases any and all claims, known or unknown, arising on or before" the document was signed that Parsons might have pursued against Luck, WVU, its board of governors and other representatives. Parsons and WVU also agreed to a confidentiality clause in which both sides are prohibited from making any negative comments about one another.
The agreement does not seem to specifically keep Parsons from being involved with the ongoing litigation between WVU and West Virginia Radio Corp. Parsons operated WVU's Mountaineer Sports Network for many years and worked closely with West Virginia Radio. WVU outsourced those rights last year to IMG College, which now handles most of Parsons' past responsibilities. West Virginia Radio has pending litigation against Luck, WVU, IMG College and other involved parties.
However, Parsons will have WVU say nice things about him. WVU agreed to have its vice president of human resources write a letter of recommendation for Parsons by Feb. 1. The letter will recognize "his service to the University since 1979 and cite that his decision to leave the University is voluntary and not related to performance."
While he remains under contract at WVU, Parsons will work remotely and off of campus on "a special assignment or assignments" assigned by Luck. Parsons is allowed to accept work as a consultant or a full-time job outside of the university and receive all of his benefits through June 30 as long as he completes Luck's assignments.
Parsons will also continue to use his company car and office accessories and travel to at least two athletics-related conferences for which he will be fully reimbursed. He'll also be eligible to receive the performance incentives in his contract for the men's basketball team that include bonuses for winning the Big 12's regular season and conference tournament championships and the NCAA Tournament championship, and for appearing in the NCAA Tournament's first round, Sweet Sixteen and Final Four and the NIT.
After June 30, Parsons will continue to receive two season tickets for football and men's and women's basketball. For the next two seasons, he'll receive parking passes for football and basketball.