Coastal Carolina University and David Bennett reached a buyout agreement that will pay the former head football coach $925,000.
Bennett, a Cheraw native, was the university's first football coach and led the team to a 63-39 record in nine seasons before being relieved of his duties on Dec. 9. The university originally said Bennett was going to reassigned, but he never was.
According to the terms of a 10-year contract Bennett signed in 2007, he was due his full salary for the remainder of his contract because he was terminated before the contract's half-way point.
The university said the buyout money will come from "a long-standing discretionary auxiliary account that includes no funds from tuition, gifts or state appropriated dollars."
Coastal Carolina released a copy of the buyout agreement via e-mail on Monday.
According to the agreement, Bennett's last day on the job was March 23. He and his wife and family, and the school, agreed not to bring any legal proceedings.
The Bennetts also agreed not to make any "disparaging or otherwise negative or false oral or written statements" about the university, the buyout agreement or the coach's tenure. Included in the disparaging remarks ban are Coastal Carolina president David DeCenzo of Pawleys Island and his wife, the athletic director and his wife, and 18 other individuals. The school also agreed not to make disparaging remarks about the Bennetts.
Also included in the agreement were statements from the university and Bennett.
The university wrote:
"The University expresses its appreciation to Coach Bennett for all he has done to initiate and build the institution's football program and reiterates its long-held belief that it could not have found a better coach or person to accomplish that task. He also set the bar high for service to the community and for the mentoring of the young men in his charge to live lives of faith as servant leaders. President David DeCenzo, speaking for the institution, wishes Coach Bennett well in his every future endeavor and affirms that Coach Bennett will remain a valued member of the Coastal family."
Bennett's statement reads:
"Our family has been BLESSED with our time at Coastal Carolina University. Hayes and Jeb have grown up in beautiful Horry County and we wouldn't trade anything for that. Thank you to President Ron Ingle and Athletic Director Moose Koegel for hiring us. Thank you to the faculty, staff, students, university supporters and student athletes - WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU! Thank you to the High School Coaches for believing in our vision and entrusting your young men to us! We wish Coastal Carolina the very best in the future and thank you again for making such an impact on our lives."
Coastal Carolina announced Dec. 20 that former TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Moglia would take over the team.
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