Columns/Opinion, Men's Basketball, Opinion, Sports, WVU Sports

COLUMN: The financial numbers are in about Larry Harrison’s termination, but still no reason given as to why

MORGANTOWN — The numbers are in on Larry Harrison’s separation agreement with WVU, and the former men’s associate head coach has earned a respectable payday of more than $350,000.

According to the employee transition agreement signed by both Harrison and WVU athletic director Wren Baker on Feb. 21, Harrison will be paid an additional eight month’s worth of salary — minus the typical taxes and payroll deductions — as part of his separation from the university.

The Dominion Post received a copy of the employee transition agreement through a Freedom of Information request.

The amount of roughly $212,180, which will be paid in one lump sum on June 30, will be in addition to what the school owes him through his contractual buyout, which was the remaining total of his yearly salary of $318,270.


Harrison’s contract ran through June 30, so a monthly breakdown of his salary and time remaining equals an additional $145,873.

According to the document, the school will also pay Harrison an additional $2,500 to attend the yearly coaches’ conference at the Final Four.

That brings the grand total to $360,553, plus any contract incentives Harrison has earned, which will be prorated to half of what he would have earned if still employed by the school.

Harrison was fired on Jan. 12 after 16 seasons at the school. He began as the top assistant coach when head coach Bob Huggins was hired in 2007, and then promoted to associate head coach in July of 2010.

WVU has since hired DerMarr Johnson, a former player at Cincinnati under Huggins, to fill the open slot on the coaching staff.

No reason has ever been given by WVU as to the cause for letting Harrison go, although the school holds the contractual right to fire Harrison — or any WVU coach, for that matter — without cause.

In previous discussions with the media, Huggins said the move was made “in the best interest of Mountaineer basketball,” but has declined any further comment on the issue.

Sources have told The Dominion Post that Harrison was given no definitive reason as to why he was fired and there has been no contact between himself and Huggins since he was terminated.

There are no reasons stated for Harrison’s termination in the employee transition agreement.

Huggins and Harrison share a coaching career of 24 years, dating back to their days at Cincinnati prior to Huggins’ hiring at WVU.

Harrison has also been a head coach at the University of Hartford and also served as a scout for the NBA’s Washington Wizards.

As per the employee transition agreement, there is a confidentiality agreement clause, meaning neither Harrison nor the school can discuss its terms publicly.

Harrison must also waive any and all legal claims he would have against the school, WVU would not make any attempts to challenge Harrison if he decided to file for unemployment and the two parties agreed not to make any negative public statements (including on social media) against the other.

So, that’s the facts.

As to why WVU felt it needed to pay Harrison an additional eighth months of salary is only a guess, since both parties are legally bound to confidentiality.

The guess here is the decision wasn’t made out of kindness or pure generosity.

More than likely, WVU officials came to the conclusion that it had just fired a man without any good reason and felt it had to fork out some cash to make up for that.

Harrison is not under any sort of legal or NCAA investigation and several former WVU hoops players have gone public with statements of support for Harrison since his termination.

All that remains is the question of why Harrison was let go, which will likely never come.

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