West Virginia, which hired alumnus Bob Huggins away from Kansas State to replace Beilein, isn’t budging. WVU athletic director Ed Pastilong said Tuesday that the buyout was initiated by Beilein’s side.
“That was what made him comfortable,” Pastilong said. “It was his desire … and we were going to go along with it. Everyone has a unique approach and that’s just what he wanted and we were accommodating him.”
But was it? Beilein won’t go on the record about his intentions in seeking legal counsel, but multiple sources have told ESPN.com that Beilein is trying to get the buyout reduced — if not wiped out entirely. Pastilong said he wouldn’t discuss anything more about the buyout, except that, “We expect the contract to be honored. A contract is a contract. [The buyout is for $2.5 million] and that’s what the contract is for.”
When asked if there could be a negotiated buyout, Pastilong said, “That would be for the attorneys to work out.”
The language in the contract is pretty clear. Beilein signed on to be West Virginia’s coach in 2002. In the original contract, which was obtained by USA Today for a story last month, Beilein had a buyout of $550,000. He would also be owed that amount if he were terminated without cause.