Vandals' response to Akey's lawsuit: He doesn't deserve extra money

Moscow-Pullman Daily NewsMay 24, 2013 

1231 local hbowldo07

Idaho Vandals Head Football Coach Robb Akey gets after his defense after they allowed Bowling Green to score Wednesday in the 2009 Roady's Humanitarian Bowl.

DARIN OSWALD — Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

The University of Idaho appears set to fight a lawsuit filed against it last month by former football coach Robb Akey.

In an answer filed in Latah County 2nd District Court, the UI denied his claim that he is owed more pay for public appearances and talking to the media.

In a lawsuit filed April 16, Akey claimed the university failed to pay him for media participation in an amount to be determined at trial. The former coach claims he fulfilled his contract with the UI by participating in all required media programs and public appearances.

Akey was fired by the university effective Oct. 31 with four games left in a 12-game season, but received a 10-day notice one day after a crushing defeat by Louisiana Tech that put the Vandals 1-7 for the season. His UI record in five seasons was 20-50 following the loss.

The university responded to the lawsuit last week, denying it breached its contract with Akey and arguing his employment was terminated correctly under the 10-day notice, which his contract states the UI may do "for its own convenience."

The UI also denies Akey’s claim that he performed all terms and conditions of the agreement, including media programs, stating the allegation is open to interpretation. The university further denies it refused to compensate Akey under his contract.

The university cannot comment on pending litigation outside court filings nor does the Idaho State Board of Education, which is also identified as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Under Akey’s contract, the UI agreed to pay him for talking to the media. At the time of his termination, the former Vandal was to make $210,000 for that from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013. The contract states Akey was to receive half of this sum prior to the regular season last year and the second half "no later than two weeks after the last regular season football game or bowl game, whichever occurs later." He is seeking a "fair and equitable portion" of the $105,000 he would have made had he completed the 2012 season.

Hired in 2007 to stabilize a deteriorating football program, Akey’s best season came in 2009 when the Vandals went 8-5 and beat Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl 43-42.

In June 2010 following the Humanitarian Bowl victory, Akey signed a contract extension through 2014. Akey was to receive his base salary of $165,796.80 per year until the terms of his contract expire in 2014 or he finds new employment.

The decision to terminate Akey came from Athletics Director Rob Spear with UI President Duane Nellis in agreement. Paul Petrino was hired last year to replace Akey.

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