Steve Alford says he won’t be paying a $1 million buyout to New Mexico. His former employer thinks otherwise.
The new UCLA basketball coach, who led Iowa to 152 wins and two Big Ten Tournament titles over eight seasons until he left in 2006, thinks he owes New Mexico $200,000 for bolting. According to an Albuquerque Journal report, New Mexico says it’s owed a $1 million buyout.
Alford’s point of contention: He took the UCLA job on March 30, two days before his new 10-year deal at New Mexico was to begin. The story has been ongoing but gained traction Monday night when the Journal obtained an e-mail sent by Alford to the school that said he officially contended that March 30 was his last day. New Mexico thinks instead that the clock didn’t begin ticking on Alford’s required 30 days’ notice until March 30.
Upon his hiring at UCLA, the issue came up. Alford’s response then: “I’m not a lawyer. I’m an Indiana graduate who likes basketball. The lawyers will get together and figure that out.”
Alford’s transition to Los Angeles has been bumpy. Already, his past handling of the Pierre Pierce sexual-assault case while at Iowa not only came up once but twice, with Pierce saying he and Alford still remain close.
Alford’s new contract at UCLA is for seven years and $18.2 million, plus perks and a $200,000 signing bonus.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball