New LSU athletic director Scott Woodward signed a six-year, $7.95 million contract with the university that starts out at $1.1 million per year and increases to $1.5 million during its final year.
The contract, which The Advocate received by public record request, includes a liquidated-damages payment to Texas A&M worth $50,000.
The contract is effective May 6, 2019, and ends April 30, 2025.
"We know the positive impact a leading athletic department can have on the institution as a whole and we are excited about the future with Scott Woodward as our athletic director," Jason Droddy, interim vice president for strategic communications, said in a statement. "His depth of experience, strong LSU ties and record of success are at the highest levels are unparalleled in college athletics. We are excited to have him home."
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The contract increases in annual pay over the six-year period:
2019-2020: $1.1 million
2020-2021: $1.1 million
2023-2024: $1.5 million
2024-2025: $1.5 million
According to The Dallas Morning News, Woodward earned $900,000 in base salary at Texas A&M as part of a five-year deal that would have expired in January 2021.
The contract also includes a conditional extension for Woodward if LSU is hit with NCAA sanctions because of events that happened before Woodward was hired.
If such a sanction occurs, the contract says, Woodward's term will be extended for a period of two years to April 30, 2027, at $1.5 million per year in the additional years.
Woodward's hiring came amid scrutiny over the LSU men's basketball program and coach Will Wade, who was reinstated after a suspension by the school lasted more than a month.
The decision to suspend Wade on March 8 came after he declined to meet with LSU officials to answer questions regarding leaked FBI wiretaps that detailed phone calls between the coach and a federally convicted middleman. Wade missed the entirety of the SEC tournament and NCAA tournament.
It includes a relocation signing bonus of $250,000, which is payable within 30 days of May 6, 2019, and it includes two retention bonuses of $250,000, which he will receive if he remains employed as the athletic director at LSU through April 30, 2024, and $500,000, if he remains employed through April 30, 2025.
If Woodward terminates the contract any time within the first three years, according to the contract, Woodward will pay LSU all base salary and other compensation that remains in the contract.
LSU can terminate the contract at any time for convenience, according to the contract, and will be required to pay Woodward the entire remaining salary, including other compensations, through the rest of the contract.
The contract states that the parties intend to negotiate "in good faith and to prepare and execute a formal long-form contract that more fully states the terms of their agreement," and once it is approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors, "will supersede the terms of this contract."
Pending any changes, the contract says, "this contract remains in full force and effect" and is also pending an approved background check.
The board next meets at 10 a.m. Friday at the LSU administration building.
Woodward's contract would start out at about $325,000 more annually than what former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva was making at the university. Alleva is still under a $725,000-per-year contract that is set to expire June 30, 2020.
LSU announced last Thursday that Alleva had officially been reassigned to the new position of special assistant to the president for donor relations.
Woodward's contract was signed by both Woodward and LSU President F. King Alexander on April 17 — the day before LSU's official announcement, when news began to spread of Alleva's removal and Woodward's hiring.
The transition between athletic directors occurred so quickly, according to sources close to the LSU athletic department, because the LSU Board of Supervisors had already secured interest from Woodward, a dream candidate seemingly untouchable at wealthy Texas A&M.
The decision to remove Alleva was made the night of April 16, according to several board members who asked not to be identified, during a tight-lipped executive meeting held by the board.
Alleva's removal had little to do with Wade, sources close to the athletic department told The Advocate. The board felt Alleva had lost the confidence of much of LSU's core base.
In late March, the LSU system launched a $1.5 billion fundraising campaign, the largest target amount for any such fundraising effort in the history of Louisiana. Board members wanted an athletic director who could galvanize donors and who had a reputation for being a successful fundraiser.
During Woodward's 30-minute introduction at the LSU Manship School of Communication on Tuesday, the new athletic director answered questions about fundraising, saying that "wars are won with resources."
"We have to compete, and we have to compete at the highest level with all of the great institutions," Woodward said. "That means everyone. That means people are going to have to donate. That means people are going to have to do what they have to do, keep their eyeballs on the TV and do everything that we need to do to mount resources to be hyper, hyper-competitive."
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