UM Athletic Director to Get Extra Year of Pay

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Former University of Montana athletic director Jim O’Day will receive an additional year of pay because he was relieved of his duties with fewer than five months left in his current contract, the Missoulian reported Wednesday.

Under O’Day’s contract, he was entitled to written notice of nonrenewal five months prior to its expiration. He was notified on March 29 and his current contract ends on June 30.

Kevin McRae, associate commissioner of higher education for human resources, told the newspaper the Montana university system agreed to continue to pay O’Day through June 2013 for a total payout of over $155,000, plus benefits.

Former Griz football coach Robin Pflugrad also was relieved of his duties on March 29. He will be paid his salary and benefits until his contract ends on Dec. 31, for a total of $116,000 in salary, plus benefits.

Cathy Swift, chief legal counsel for the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, said the university has not negotiated with Pflugrad over his annual performance incentives.

In January, running back Beau Donaldson was suspended from the team after he was charged with raping an acquaintance in September 2010. He has pleaded not guilty.

Last fall, police used a stun gun against two football players after quarterback Gerald Kemp and cornerback Trumaine Johnson scuffled with officers responding to a noise complaint. They pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct charges.

UM President Royce Engstrom did not give a reason for deciding not to renew Pflugrad and O’Day’s contracts.

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