MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University has agreed to pay outgoing deputy athletics director Mike Parsons $325,000, according to settlement documents released Monday.
While acknowledging that Parsons “raised various allegations and legal claims” against the university and athletics director Oliver Luck, the school denies all such claims in the settlement. Parsons will continue to receive his current salary and benefits through June 30, at which point he will receive the lump-sum payout.
In the interim, the settlement states Parsons will not maintain a campus office but shall “work remotely from West Virginia University facilities on special assignments” from Luck.
A source speaking on condition of anonymity told MetroNews last week that Parsons’ office had been cleaned out—the result of a strained relationship with Luck, who became AD in June 2010. Luck stripped Parsons of his duties last summer, the source said, and established that Parsons’ would officially exit his post by June 30, ending a 35-year run within the athletics department.
“(Parsons) had a lawyer who felt that he had a good case against the university arguing that he was unfairly relieved of his duties,” the source said.
Among the settlement’s other notable points:
• Until his June 30 departure, Parsons can accept consultant’s work or even full-time employment with a non-university company and shall continue to draw his WVU salary as long as he fulfills the requirements of Luck’s assignments.
• WVU will provide a letter of recommendation from the vice president of human resources recognizing Parsons’ service since 1979 and citing his decision to leave as “voluntary and not related to performance.”
• Parsons will qualify for any customary incentives should the current WVU basketball team win the Big 12 title, reach the NCAA tournament or qualify for the NIT.
• Post-retirement, Parsons will receive two season tickets to WVU football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games.
• WVU and Parsons agreed to refrain from making “any disparaging comments, remarks or communications regarding each other.”
MetroNews obtained the terms of the settlement through a Freedom of Information Act request.
A 1977 WVU journalism graduate, Parsons became the Mountaineers’ sports information director in 1979 and was promoted to assistant athletics director three years later. In 2003 he became deputy athletics director and managed the daily operation of the department, including oversight of employment contracts and sponsorships.