Leaving Eastern Michigan could cost men's basketball coach Rob Murphy $210,000
Jeff Sainlar I AnnArbor.com
If Eastern Michigan University men's basketball coach Rob Murphy is indeed leaving for a job in the NBA, it could end up costing him a pretty penny.
According to Murphy's contract, he would owe the university $210,000 — the equivalent to one year's pay — if he terminates the agreement "without cause" prior to the completion of the five-year deal.
What exactly constitutes "cause" is not specified in the contract. Murphy would have to pay back the university either in one lump sum, or "on a monthly basis prorated over the remainder" of the contract, which would be through the end of 2015-16 season.
On Thursday, an EMU spokesperson could not confirm or deny reports of Murphy leaving and said an update on Murphy's situation is expected later in the day. Rob Murphy has not responded to requests for comment and the athletic department has yet to comment on the situation.
News broke that Murphy may be leaving the Eagles after just one year on the job on Tuesday. Multiple media outlets reported Murphy would leave the Eagles to take an advanced scout position with the Orlando Magic. MLive.com sports reporter Graham Couch first reported Murphy's exodus early Tuesday, although other sources hinted afterward that the coach was still contemplating the offer.
Murphy became just the fourth Mid-American Conference coach to lead his team to a division title in his first year as head coach. According to his contract, Murphy was due a bonus of $5,000 for being named MAC coach of the year, another $10,000 for winning the MAC West Division title, and $5,000 for winning at least 12 games against Division IA opponents (the Eagles had 13).
Murphy was named EMU's coach after serving as an assistant coach at Syracuse (2004-11) and Kent State (2002-04). The Eagles were 14-18 in 2011-12.
Pete Cunningham covers sports for AnnArbor.com.