(The Center Square) – As part of an agreement to resign as athletic director, Jim Sterk will receive about $1,456,000 from the University of Missouri over the next two years.
Media outlets throughout the state requested and published on Wednesday details of a transition agreement and release between Sterk and the university, who accepted the position in 2016. It was signed by Sterk on Monday, the day his resignation was announced by the university, and by university president Mun Choi on Tuesday.
Sterk will receive his annual base salary of $507,500 for each of the two years remaining on his contract. He also will receive $450,00 in deferred compensation and incentives.
Messages seeking comment were sent to the 12 members of the Higher Education committee in the Missouri House of Representatives. Ben Murray, legislative assistant for Rep. Barbara Phifer, D-Kirkwood, and a member of the Higher Education committee, said the office declined comment without seeing the document.
The document states the “parties are in agreement that their mutual best interest would be served by Sterk stepping down as AD at such time as a successor begins employment, or Sept. 15, whichever is earlier.” The agreement also state’s there’s no admission of liability or wrongdoing on behalf of Sterk or the university. Sterk, 65, also waived his rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
“We are grateful for the dedicated leadership Jim has provided over the last five years to position Mizzou for even greater success,” Choi said in a statement on Monday. “We recognize his many contributions and appreciate his continued role as we search for the next leader of Mizzou Athletics.”
Missouri’s intercollegiate athletics department had a deficit of $9 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, according to an NCAA financial report obtained by the Columbia Tribune after it filed a Sunshine Law request. The department had $119.1 million in expenses and $110.2 million in revenues.
Sterk told the Tribune the main reasons for the deficit were the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The report also stated a 128% increase in unplanned operating expenses – $6.7 million – for a football stadium scoreboard, additional taxes, and buying out the contract of former football coach Barry Odom, who was fired after the 2019 season.
Sterk led the completion of a $98 million renovation in the south end of the Missouri football stadium. Earlier this year, the university unveiled plans for a new $34 million indoor football practice facility to be constructed near the stadium.
“I am grateful for the hard work of our amazing staff, coaches and student-athletes, as well as the generous support of our alumni and friends during my tenure as athletics director,” Sterk said in a statement released Monday. “I believe that Mizzou Athletics is well positioned for future success, and I wish our coaches and student-athletes well in their continued quest for academic and athletic excellence.”
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