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The Crazy Story Of Former Kansas State Coach Ron Prince's 'Secret Agreement'

If you haven't heard the story of former Kansas State head coach Ron Prince's contract, then you're missing out.

The players at the time were:

  • Head coach Ron Prince (looking for a contract extension)
  • Athletic director Bob Krause (negotiating Prince's new contract)
  • President Jon Wefald

The Topeka Capital-Journal has the full story which comes from recent depositions.

Basically, Krause helped negotiate a "secret agreement", or contract, that would give Prince deferred payments in 2015. Krause did this agreement secretly and now the agreement is being challenged legally on the basis that Krause acted outside of his authority in the negotiations.

(Wait a minute...the AD hires the coach, right?)

Here's how the story goes...

Tim Weiser was the AD before Bob Krause and had been negotiating a new deal with Prince before leaving the University. Upon taking over, Krause was told by then-president Jon Wefald to get some sort of deal done quickly.

Wefald, who supported the guaranteed contract, wanted Krause to work quickly. Wefald and Krause felt it was important to resolve the contract issues before the 2008 football season, and they were concerned about negative publicity stemming from former Wildcat Leon Patton's legal woes. Patton, a running back who played two seasons for Prince, was being investigated on child abuse charges, and Wefald feared a public backlash if the story broke before Prince's contract was finalized.

Prince and Krause were negotiating and it took a while because Prince wanted a fully guaranteed deal.

So Krause thought of doing a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that would include deferred payments to Prince starting in 2015 (a/k/a the "secret agreement") to get around Prince's demands.

Krause mentioned the idea to Wefald in passing, who really only seemed to care about getting some sort of deal done quickly. Krause also brought in two top aides to discuss it.

Cavello, who oversaw athletic department finances, raised reservations about the contract extension and the deferred compensation agreement, but the three eventually reached a consensus.

"My sense was that after the analysis that we were all in agreement," Krause said.

Krause wrote the MOU himself, had Prince sign it, then did not share the MOU with anyone else (not even Wefald) and locked it up away from public consumption. He had Wefald sign the public contract.

Of course the inevitable happened: Prince flopped the next season leading Wefald to demand he be fired on Nov. 2008.

So here sits Krause talking with Wefald about the "secret agreement" dilemna. Krause agreed to travel to Prince's Virginia home (on his own dime) to try and fix it because no one knew about the "secret agreement (a/k/a MOU).

Well, his way of fixing it is, well, untraditional:

In Charlottesville, Krause made an offer: If Prince agreed to nullify the buyout agreement, Krause would purchase an insurance policy on his own life and designate Prince as the beneficiary.

Umm...would that be itemized on the university's taxes?

Of course Prince said no to that.

Once the public found out about the MOU, K-State had some explainin' to do.

"This deal was apparently constructed as a further supplement to the buyout provision contained in Prince's employment contract," said Epps, K-State's interim athletic director at the time. "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."

Of course Epps was one of Krause's "two aides" that helped with the contract and the MOU.

So basically K-State is kind of screwed.