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Kansas State contests secret deal with ex-football coach Prince
Updated 5/21/2009 2:11 AM ET
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a secret deal between former athletic director Bob Krause and ex-football coach Ron Prince that would pay Prince $3.2 million in deferred compensation between 2015 and 2020.

Prince's agent responded that the lawsuit is without merit and the deal between his client and the university is legally binding.

TEAM NOTES: Inside Kansas State

Kansas State president Jon Wefald said he found out about the agreement on May 11 after it was discovered by university staff while searching for documents regarding an unrelated matter.

"I was shocked and saddened to find out about this agreement," Wefald said in a statement. "No one in central administration or athletics knew about this agreement."

Prince, hired as head football coach in February 2006 to replace Bill Snyder, was fired last November, three months after signing a five-year contact with a guaranteed compensation package of $1.1 million a year.

Under that contract, Prince was to be paid $1.2 million, plus a roughly $150,000 prorated longevity bonus, if he were fired without cause.

The lawsuit claims Prince formed a limited liability company he called In Pursuit of Perfection LLC, or IPP, and that Krause signed the deal with that entity on Aug. 7, the same day Prince's new five-year contract with the school was signed.

According to the deal between Krause, representing Intercollegiate Athletic Council of Kansas State University Inc., and IPP, the university would be obligated to pay IPP $800,000 in December 2015, $800,000 in December 2016 and $1.6 million in December 2020 if Prince were fired without cause before the contract was up.

Krause, who resigned as athletic director in March, quit his job as economic development director for the school's Olathe Innovation Campus on Wednesday upon Wefald's request.

"I appointed Bob Krause to be athletic director," Wefald said. "He has been a longtime friend. I regret deeply and apologize that this happened while I was president. But we do regard this secret agreement as null and void."

But Neil Cornrich, Prince's agent, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon denying the deal was secret and said Kansas State's lawsuit is without merit. He said the lawsuit "unfairly" involves Prince in a private dispute between the school and Krause.

"I do not know why any additional supplement was justified, or why Bob Krause concealed this agreement from everyone until it was inadvertently discovered last week," said interim athletic director James Epps. "I do not believe that this agreement is valid, and the athletics department will vigorously fight any attempt to enforce it."

Prince, now an assistant coach at Virginia, could not be reached for comment. He left with a 16-18 record at Kansas State, and has been replaced by Snyder, who came out of retirement to coach the Wildcats.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted 5/20/2009 3:37 PM ET
Updated 5/21/2009 2:11 AM ET