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Posted on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

Leaving Eastern Michigan could cost men's basketball coach Rob Murphy $210,000

By Pete Cunningham


Eastern Michigan men's basketball coach Rob Murphy could end up owing the school $210,000.

Jeff Sainlar I

Updated at 1:15 p.m.

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. 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.

Click here to download the entire contract.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for



Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

as i said before, EMU screwed up again. Hiring a coach on the rise is not what EMU needs. I'll bet they make the same mistake and go after a 28 year old assistant at a Major program. A coach that will leave in two years after he realizes he cant win at EMU.

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

it won't cost coach a dime. it'll cost his nba employer $210 g's

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

being a college coach is a lot more than just the game of b-ball. There is recruiting (begging) kids to come, then keeping them eligible to play and on proper behavior. Not to mention the 2000 page NCAA rule book. Maybe being a scout for the same or more money was appealing. Maybe he loves the game but not the context of the game within the University/NCAA umbrella?


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

My guess is they are just working on the details of terminating his contract. The fact that the spokesman can't confirm or deny means they are confirming he's leaving. This sucks because it's gonna set them back another year or two AGAIN.

just a voice

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

would be a shame for them to loose him after a great first season.