Oregon Attorney General Asks, "You Paid Mike Bellotti How Much?"

Former Oregon AD Mike Bellotti will receive a $2.3 million severance package from a job that he held for nine months. The state's Justice Department seems to think that's a lot, especially once they heard that Bellotti never signed a contract.

A spokesman for the state Attorney General says that Bellotti's golden parachute "warrants a review" and that he wants to "get as much information on it as he can," because ... what the hell is going on over there? Bellotti took over the athletic director job last July and even though he performed (admirably?) until well into March, the school had no signed or written agreement about the terms of his employment or possible departure. Well, they had no written agreement until March 16, when they finally wrote down the terms of his severance—three days before he resigned.

Bellotti says he had a "handshake agreement" with the school president and there were some "bullet points," so that's basically a legal contract, right? Bullet points are usually pretty ironclad. The Eugene Register-Guard suggests that the money might be part of a deal Bellotti struck with the school when he took a one million dollar paycut to go from football coach to athletic director, but $2.3 million of what is basically state money seems like the kind of thing you would want to write down.

Also, Bellotti wasn't fired. He quit, to take a gig that is not exactly minimum wage. The resignation agreement actually says that the school wishes to assist Bellotti in "seeking a transition to other employment opportunities currently available to him." Except there is no transition. He has employment. Pretty good employment too. Bellotti explains that there were many years he worked at Oregon without a contract, but that's probably because he'd been there since 1989 and the school didn't expect him to jump ship within the next nine months. Either way, I would suggest shaking your boss's hand—after mumbling some vague demands under your breath—right now.

Oh, but don't worry, Ducks fans. Jeremiah Masoli ain't going anywhere. Nope ... no way you're getting rid that guy.

Officials to review Bellotti's severance [The Register-Guard]
Department of Justice reviewing University of Oregon's deal to pay Mike Bellotti $2.3 million [Oregonian]
Masoli staying at Oregon [KMTR]