Heath Buyout Figures Obtained

FAYETTEVILLE — The Razorback Foundation will be out nearly $1 million if Arkansas basketball coach Stan Heath's contract is terminated at the end of the season.

The Morning News obtained a copy of Heath's personal services and guaranty agreement with the Foundation through a request under Arkansas' Freedom of Information Act. The agreement serves as the document that outlines the exact amount Heath will be paid if he is fired.

The buyout portion of the agreement reads, "If Heath is terminated for the convenience of the University of Arkansas, the Foundation shall pay to Heath his salary of Three Hundred Thousand Dollars per year if terminated prior to June 30, 2007, subject to mitigation, for the remaining period left on the Employment Agreement."

Heath's contract runs through April 30, 2010.

A source close to the basketball program said that Heath will be fired if Arkansas doesn't make the NCAA Tournament. A source within Arkansas athletic department disagreed and said no decision had yet been made.

Heath had the option of appealing the release of his personal services and guaranty agreement to the state's attorney general. But Scott Varady, Arkansas' associate general counsel, said Heath waived that right.

Varady declined to comment further on any aspects of the agreement. Attempts to reach Chuck Dicus, president of the Razorback Foundation, and Heath's agent, John Caponigro, were unsuccessful Tuesday night.

Heath spoke Wednesday night after his team's 67-58 victory over Mississippi State like a man who didn't want to think about any potential buyout.

He replied, "Nope," to a question regarding whether he felt any more emotion than usual Wednesday night, in possibly his final game in Bud Walton Arena. The fifth-year coach simply stated he savored the victory just like any of his other 107 career wins.

"In coaching, one thing you learn — I learned this a long time ago — is you coach every game like it's your last game," Heath said. "So (all that speculation) really doesn't matter."

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