Tom Jurich remained loyal to his friends and to the University of Louisville even when at least one individual in his employ made major mistakes and after he was fired by the Board of Trustees and erroneously accused of wrongdoing by an interim administrator.
Loyal after his trust was betrayed, resisting the urge to be critical, remaining positive about the University. Told to leave a job he treasured, depart a campus he had transformed, and an athletic department that he had revamped and molded into a collegiate powerhouse during his 20 years on the job.
Doubtful Tom will ever fully recover from the awful shock and the hurt he suffered in the early morning hours of October 18 when he was dismissed from UofL. That was a dark day for everyone involved, everyone associated with the school.
Unfortunately, it took the threat of a lawsuit for the Board of Trustees to make up for some of the injustices. There were still no apologies, but the Trustees approved a settlement with Jurich. The arrangement stipulates that he will receive no less than $4.5 million, ending any litigation between the two parties.
Jurich deserved, and could have commanded, much more than he finally received.
The settlement also calls for Jurich to get no less than $911,000 from his Deferred Compensation Plan and another $1.76 million to be paid out over the next eight years, as well as health coverage until he and his wife are eligible for Medicare. He will also receive eight club level season ticket licenses for UofL football and basketball games for the next 20 years.
Equally important, the agreement also changes the reason for his exit from the university from “fired with cause” to “terminated without cause due to resignation.” The letter of dismissal will be removed from his personnel file.
Louisville is fortunate that Jurich is the person he is. He could have allowed the lawsuit to continue, possibly collecting tens of millions in more dollars from the school. Jurich deserved, and could have commanded, much more than he finally received.
The gut feeling here is that Tom had no desire to inflict more than financial or reputational harm to the University than has already occurred. He’s just that kind of individual, and he continues to have strong feelings for UofL, still wanting the school to grow and prosper.
We have missed seeing Tom and his son Mark around the campus. Let’s hope they will use those football and basketball tickets often in the future.