UH buys out Frazier
Hitting goals will pay off for Frazier
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A day after failing to re-sign football coach June Jones, University of Hawaii leaders say they will pay athletic director Herman Frazier $312,510 to leave the school.
Athletic director's bonuses
Herman Frazier's contract promises the following bonuses:
$20,800: (A month's salary) if the football team is the champion of its conference.
$7,500: When the football team competes in a bowl game.
$15,000: If the athletics program operates with an increase in net assets for two consecutive years, and the athletics program repays a $1 million note payable to the university.
The university said it reached an agreement "in the best interests of the athletics program" to buy out Frazier's employment contract. The money equates to 15 months' salary, the amount specified in his contract if Frazier leaves "without cause."
Frazier also earned at least $28,300 in bonuses, according to his contract, and could qualify for an additional $15,000 bonus if the Athletics Department finished with a profit in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Frazier had been under fire, not only for Jones' departure, but for turning away Sugar Bowl tickets intended for UH fans, this year's incomplete football schedule, the messy departure of former basketball coach Riley Wallace, and the slow hiring of Bob Nash to replace Wallace.
Associate athletic director Carl Clapp was named as acting athletic director. His duties will include working with the administration to find a new football coach.
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Even though University of Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier is losing his job for an apparent lack of performance, he will still get at least $28,334 in bonuses and perhaps $15,000 more for reaching goals that were accomplished under his leadership.
Frazier and UH-Manoa reached an agreement yesterday to buy out his contract for $312,510, the university said in a short news release. That equals 15 months' salary under Frazier's employment contract -- his compensation if he loses his job "without cause."
If he was fired or resigned, according to the contract, he would not receive a severance.
The five-year contract ending in 2010 also awards him bonuses if certain goals are met. Two of the goals -- a conference football championship and a bowl appearance -- were met this past season.
A third goal, of having the Athletics Department show a profit for two years and repaying a $1 million loan, appeared to be on the verge of being met last year.
Frazier had been scheduled to present the financial results of the 2007 fiscal year at the Board of Regents meeting tomorrow. Last year, Frazier said his department made a slight profit in 2006 and that he expected to repay the full $1 million in 2007.
Ironically, the Board of Regents must now approve Frazier's departure, something likely to happen at the next board meeting in February.
Frazier did not return a call yesterday for comment.
His departure comes one day after popular football coach June Jones resigned to take a $2-million-a-year job at Southern Methodist University.
Jones said one of the main reasons he left was because not enough was done to improve the athletic facilities at the university.
At a news conference Monday, in which Frazier was conspicuously absent, UH President David McClain suggested the athletic director dropped the ball in negotiating Jones' contract.
"We should have been on the case a bit sooner," McClain said.
While accepting ultimate responsibility for Jones' departure to SMU, McClain also noted that it is the athletic director's job to "get your coaches contracted in a timely fashion."
Frazier had also been criticized for turning away thousands of Sugar Bowl tickets; the late and weak football schedule; mishandling basketball coach Riley Wallace's departure and dragging out the hiring of current basketball coach Bob Nash.
Athletics boosters had said money was raised to pay for Frazier's severance.
But yesterday UH spokesman Gregg Takayama said the university was paying for the settlement.
"As far as I know, they (the boosters) have not actually contacted the UH," Takayama said.
At the UH-Manoa campus yesterday, most of those who had an opinion agreed with the decision to let Frazier go.
"My feeling is, he didn't do a good job," said Kyle Ikeda. "I'm not surprised he's getting bought out. I think he should be held accountable."
"He's lucky he's getting that much. Hire me, I'll do a better job," said Alejandro Preciado.
But UH women's volleyball coach Dave Shoji said, "Herman has always treated me fairly. Whenever anybody gets let go, you feel bad for that person. But I understand that the public has lost confidence in him. I just don't think losing June Jones should be the sole reason for him to get let go."
Carl Clapp, the associate athletics director, was named acting director. Among his first duties will be to help find a new football coach.