LOGAN – An alleged typo could prevent former Utah State University head basketball coach Tim Duryea from receiving his final year’s salary.
After three years as head coach and 14 years as an assistant, Duryea was fired March 11, two days following the end of USU’s basketball season. Because he was let go before his employment contract was up, Duryea is still owed the salary for the duration of the agreement.
According to Angie Duryea, Tim Duryea’s wife, the university is taking advantage of a typo in the contract to get out of paying the final year’s salary of $279,000.
Both the contract and the offer letter state the employment term is for five years, but there is a contradictory line in the contract. It states that Tim Duryea would be employed “for a term of five (5) years, commencing on March 30, 2015, and ending on June 30, 2019.” The listed dates only cover four, not five, basketball seasons.
Angie Duryea said the end date is a typo and that everyone involved in the contract had the understanding that the term was five years. She said not only is USU unwilling to pay, but that the only people at USU that will speak to her are the school’s lawyers.
“We have supporting documents that says it is five years,” she said. “The intent was five years and they are trying to weasel out of it. Seventeen years and this is what we get.”
That offer letter, signed by both Tim Duryea and former USU Athletic Director Scott Barnes, was written before the contract was drafted and states that Duryea agreed to five years beginning March 30, 2015.
USU spokesperson Tim Vitale said in an email that there is a discrepancy in the dates of the contract that the university is attempting to resolve.
“Our counsel has been working with his counsel to resolve the differences,” he said.
Angie Duryea believes she knows how the typo came about. She said a previous draft of the contract incorrectly listed the end date as December of 2019, which would have ended the term partway through a basketball season.
“They said, ‘No, that’s a football contract. We need to go through the basketball season,’” she said. “So they rewrote it, but they didn’t change the year to 2020. They kept the year 2019.”
Angie Duryea said that Barnes, who was the athletic director at the time Tim Duryea was hired, agrees it was intended to be for five years.
“We talked to the previous AD and he said, ‘No, it was five years,’” she said.
CacheValleyDaily.com was unable to reach Barnes for comment. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.