CLU Offered $183,000 to Buy Out Shoup, Regent Says


Cal Lutheran wanted to get rid of Bob Shoup to the extent that President Jerry Miller offered him a $183,000 buyout of his position as football coach and as a tenured associate professor, a university regent confirmed Saturday.

The offer was made in a memorandum Nov. 16 after negotiations that would have allowed Shoup to coach for another year reached an impasse. Shoup rejected the offer, and the university, which had announced Shoup's dismissal Aug. 8, issued a statement Dec. 8 reiterating that Shoup had been released as coach.

"Miller wanted to get rid of Bob Shoup as football coach," said Jim Tyner, a member of the Cal Lutheran Board of Regents who put together a background paper on the Shoup issue that was distributed to the Regents. "Unfortunately, (Miller) bungled the process, and this has been detrimental to the school and will continue to be detrimental to the school until it's settled."

According to Tyner, Miller had decided on the dismissal of Shoup before a May meeting of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Cal Lutheran will join the SCIAC, a member of the NCAA Division III, as soon as current athletes on scholarship have completed their eligibility.

"Jerry Miller made a commitment at the May SCIAC meeting that Bob would not be retained as football coach," Tyner wrote in his background document.

However, Miller waited until Aug. 8 to announce Shoup's dismissal. Negotiations continued.

"The reality is . . . that Bob has offered a very attractive settlement offer to the school," said Tyner, who added that Shoup had acquiesced to an Oct. 20 agreement under which Shoup would have coached the team for the 1990 season and then resigned.

The contract the school subsequently presented to Shoup on Oct. 31 differed in several ways from the previous agreement, Shoup and Tyner said.

"No one has been able to explain to me so far why Cal Lutheran should . . . risk a great amount of money just to prevent Bob Shoup from coaching 10 more football games," said Tyner, one of three Regents involved in the discussions with Shoup leading up to the Oct. 20 agreement.

"The essence was that the agreement was subtly altered by (Miller) at the point that he was supposed to draw up the contract," said Shoup, the only coach in 28 seasons of Cal Lutheran football.

Asked whether Miller had acted in bad faith when the university presented a contract to Shoup that differed from the verbal agreement, Tyner said: "Whether Jerry Miller acted in bad faith may be for a court to determine. His word is certainly not any good with me."

Miller could not be reached for comment Saturday.

According to Shoup, several issues were included in the Oct. 31 contract, such as teaching load and administration of a junior varsity program, that had not been a part of earlier negotiations.

The Oct. 20 agreement covered six points, Shoup said. Included were provisions that Shoup would coach his final season in 1990, that he would take a sabbatical in 1991, that there would be a mutual press conference to announce the decision and that the regents would ensure that both sides abided by the agreement.

Shoup said that from 1964 to 1989 he worked under two contracts, the nine-month contract that is standard for faculty members and a supplemental two-month contract that combined paid him for 11 months of the year. Early in the summer of 1989, Shoup said, he was informed that he would not receive his supplemental contract for 1989 in what amounted to a pay cut of approximately $9,000. Shoup said he was paid the extra money for work he did during the summer.

In the Oct. 31 contract, rather than reinstating Shoup's supplemental income for 1989, the university offered him a supplementary contract for 1990 but prohibited him from signing such contracts thereafter, Shoup said.

After refusing to sign the contract, Shoup was offered the cash settlement of $183,000. Shoup said that, had he accepted the buyout agreement, he was scheduled to resign Dec. 14.

However, he decided to reject the buyout for several reasons, among them, that only he was bound to confidentiality regarding the proceedings, that he didn't believe it was good for the university, and that it wouldn't necessarily give him financial security.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World