Neuheisel will receive $4.7 million in a settlement
KENT, Wash.-- Fired football coach Rick Neuheisel will receive $4.7 million in a settlement Monday of his lawsuit against the NCAA and the University of Washington.
The deal was announced by Judge Michael Spearman just before closing arguments were to begin in the 5-week trial.
Neuheisel's attorneys said he will receive a cash payment of $2.5 million from NCAA, and the university will forgive a $1.5 million loan from the school that Neuheisel earlier had been asked to pay back. The university also will pay him $500,000 in cash and $200,000 in interest.
"I feel wholly vindicated," Neuheisel said outside the courtroom. "Obviously they're going to have their stories, too, but I feel like this is the best scenario. Nobody's nose gets bloodied."
"The legal system works," he added. "The players got together and found an amicable resolution. I'm thrilled to be moving on."
Neuheisel, now the quarterbacks coach of the Baltimore Ravens, had accused the university of wrongfully terminating his contract and the NCAA of encouraging Washington administrators to fire him.
The university had argued that he had signed a contract that allowed for his firing for acts of dishonesty. School officials have said Neuheisel was fired for gambling on an NCAA basketball pool and failing to be forthright about it with NCAA investigators.
Last week, Spearman left open the possibility of declaring a mistrial because the NCAA had failed to provide Neuheisel's legal team with an updated version of its bylaws during discovery. In a statement Monday, the university said it agreed to settle because a mistrial could be declared.
The updated bylaws seem to bolster Neuheisel's argument that NCAA investigators acted improperly when they failed to tell him in advance that they planned to question him regarding his gambling.
NCAA president Myles Brand said he believed the association acted properly.
"The settlement in this case is the result of restrictions placed on the NCAA by the court about how the association could explain the bylaw and defend its rightful interpretation," he said in a statement.
Still, Brand said, "an independent examination of procedures and processes employed by the national office staff to implement NCAA bylaws will be expanded to review this specific instance."
In four seasons with the Huskies, Neuheisel compiled a 33-16 record, including a Rose Bowl victory in 2001 and a No. 3 national ranking. Former athletic director Barbara Hedges fired him in 2003 after she said Neuheisel lied to her about interviewing for a job with the San Francisco 49ers and about his participation in NCAA men's basketball gambling pools in 2002 and '03.