COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri collected more than $700,000 in buyout money following former Athletic Director Mack Rhoades’ exodus.
Rhoades’ contract stipulated that he owed $800,000 for leaving his post in July 2016 to become the AD at Baylor. Rhoades was Missouri’s AD for 14½ months.
Beginning last October, Missouri began receiving monthly installments of $17,371.39, according to documents obtained by the Tribune on Tuesday through an open-records request. It received six of those installments before the university and Rhoades reached an agreement in March that he would pay the university a lump sum of $625,000, which would end his buyout obligation.
The university deposited that $625,000 on March 24, according to a document outlining MU’s deposits of Rhoades’ buyout payments.
That lump sum, combined with the six previous installments, amounted to a total buyout of $729,228.34.
“Upon (the) University’s receipt of the negotiated lump sum, along with amounts previously received, Rhoades’ obligation to the University with respect to liquidated damages under the Contract for Employment shall be satisfied,” the agreement reached by the university and Rhoades stated.
Rhoades’ annual base salary at MU was $600,000. Essentially, Rhoades’ buyout money offset the base salary he earned throughout his tenure.
Rhoades’ tenure will be remembered by many Missouri fans for his being twice blindsided by athlete protests.
In November 2015, more than 30 African-American MU football players announced a boycott of team activities amid campus unrest that included student protests of the school’s racial climate. Gary Pinkel supported his players’ boycott. Two days after the boycott started, it ended with the resignations of Tim Wolfe, who was the university system president, and R. Bowen Loftin, who was MU’s chancellor.
The following spring, the MU softball team’s unity council announced a protest before the team’s senior-day game. In the protest letter, the unity council blasted Rhoades and the athletic department’s investigation of softball Coach Ehren Earleywine. The protest made public the investigation, which started after some players complained to Rhoades about Earleywine’s conduct, and the sour relationship between Rhoades and one of his most successful coaches. The investigation wound up in MU’s Title IX Office and lasted 4 1/2 months, but Earleywine survived after it was found he committed no Title IX violations. By then, Rhoades was gone to Baylor, replaced by Jim Sterk.