Mike Parsons on assignment before golden egg

WVU’s deputy athletic director will work from now until June 30 in a remote location off campus and give his time and attention to special projects assigned by Oliver Luck. He’s also allowed to work as a consultant or accept a full-time position outside of the university and still receive the remainder of his salary, plus all the bells and whistles he’s accustom to, as long as he does his work for WVU. On July 1, WVU will pay him $325,000.

When all’s said and done, Parsons will leave with around $400,000, two football and men’s and women’s basketball season tickets for as long as he wants them, plus parking passes for football and basketball the next two seasons, as well as a glowing letter of recommendation from WVU. In turn, he can’t disparage WVU, nor can WVU speak ill of him, and Parsons must release WVU from and and all claims he may have had up until Jan. 27, when he and Oliver Luck signed the settlement agreement that spells out everything you’ve just read.

It’s a tidy settlement agreement for Parsons and probably even for WVU because there’s a certain piece of mind in no longer having to worry about Parsons. And if one thing can be taken from yesterday’s news, it’s that Parsons gave WVU reason to worry.

The settlement agreement, signed Jan. 27 by Parsons and athletic director Oliver Luck, further asserts tension between Parsons and Luck preceded 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.

22 Responses to “Mike Parsons on assignment before golden egg”

  1. Bill says:

    This may be a little strong–but are you saying Parsons blackmailed WVU.

  2. Big Al says:

    It’s not blackmail; WVU could have told Mr. Parsons “see you in court”. For many reasons, including those stated by Mike, WVU decided it would be better for them not to do that.
    I really don’t have a big problem with this settlement. The costs are now known and can be accounted for, and the unknown and unquantifiable risks of what damage might have been caused by Mr. Parson’s testimony/statements in the press are now extinguished.
    I’m not real happy that OL put WVU in the position that this was necessary, but that appears to be where we are.

  3. ffejbboc says:

    I’m trying not to be naive or old fashioned, but really…what happened to the days when you could just fire somebody? I doubt very seriously he was a classified state employee, much more likely he had a will & pleasure contract with the AD.

  4. Mr M says:

    I suppose, ffejbboc. those days disappeared soon after Mike Parsons fired Jack Fleming.

  5. Kevin says:

    In my professional life I’ve seen a lot of people get nice severance packages in exchange for not making derogatory statements and I’ve always wondered how much damage the person could actually do if they did call anybody and everybody and flamed their prior employer.

    I don’t have a problem with the settlement here. Parsons knows enough that he could be damaging, though I don’t know where the line between testifying and disparaging is if it came down to that.

  6. Parks says:

    Makes me wonder with the line “In turn, he can’t disparage WVU, nor can WVU speak ill of him, and Parsons must release WVU from and and all claims he may have had up until Jan. 27, when he and Oliver Luck signed the settlement agreement that spells out everything you’ve just read.” has any barring on the Raese suit?

  7. SheikYbuti says:

    Well, I can assure you that if Parsons is subpoenaed to testify at deposition and/or trial, he’ll be sworn to answer all of counsels’ questions truthfully. Signing a settlement agreement with one party to a lawsuit won’t immunize a witness from the legal obligation to disseminate relevant information to the other.

  8. SheikYbuti says:

    It’s conceivable, however, that some or all of the testimony and evidence offered by Parsons could, for sufficient reason, be subject to a protective order, which means it would be kept confidential by the parties and the court and not disclosed to the public. It would have to be a pretty good reason, given that Parsons is/was a public employee conducting public business.

  9. I love you, Doug! says:

    SheikYbuti: Of counsel.

  10. oklahoma mountaineer says:

    Truth be told, Parsons knows where all the bodies are buried……he may have actually dug some of the holes.

    Let’s face it, the athletic department is probably glad to pay this money for one reason alone — they don’t want any more dirty laundry aired in the papers, internet, ESPN, etc.

    Luck did not look real good during the IMG rights negotiation — he’s a lawyer and got his fingers caught I the cookie jar in a way that made him look pretty bad….and he’s not going to let that happen over salary that would be owed as Parsons isn’t being terminated for cause.

    Second reason is that the last time we put the dirty laundry out on the line was for one King Richard of Cheat Lake — no one wins (except the press for sales/ratings) when dirty laundry is aired in public in a sports setting.

  11. JC says:

    The Luck haters will feast upon the conspiracies associated with this…….

  12. JC says:

    Me personally, good riddance. Another of the good ol boys is shown the door.

  13. Josh24601 says:

    What on earth could these assignments by Director Luck possibly be?

  14. Josh24601 says:

    Not lost in this: a disenchanted administrator can be paid in cash and tickets not to sue or gossip, but there’s no money for players. Paying them would collapse the system! Never mind the system is horrifying.

  15. SheikYbuti says:

    Possible special projects from ADOL assigned to Mike Parsons: Ensure towels used to remove sweat from Coliseum floor during basketball games are of uniform size and absorbency, are appropriately laundered after use, and are not emblazoned with WVRC logo.

    There might be others.

  16. SheikYbuti says:

    Another potential special project: Commission artist to render view overlooking southwest corner of Mountaineer Field, picturing what it would look like if the current indoor practice facility were destroyed by a gigantic satellite (air quotes) LAY-zer.

  17. glibglub says:

    Or liquid hot (air quotes) MAG-ma.

  18. Parks says:

    Better hope OL raises that one million…I mean one BILLION dollars pretty quick..

  19. The Artist Formerly Known as EER96 says:

    WVU needs a mini-me Oliver Luck! How cool would that be?

  20. pknocker40 says:

    Perhaps Luck will assign Parsons a Random Task?

  21. Parks says:

    Could be his number 2…

  22. hoot says:

    Ah Sheik, you hit a nail on the head there….One of Parsons favorite arguments for
    getting around bidding rules was to insist that the Athletic Dept was self-supporting, therefore an independent entity, and he was not a public employee.
    To his everlasting credit, the University Counsel at the time shot that down
    quickly.

    Also…Parks, I like the number 2 comment. My mind is flooded with followups, but
    I can’t figure out a way to clean them up enough to print here.