Texas buys out Patterson in $3 million deal

Jori Epstein

The University released its final contract with former athletic director Steve Patterson on Wednesday. The contract guarantees Patterson $1.48 million for UT fiscal year 2015-2016 and $1.52 million for 2016-2017. 

Patterson signed the agreement on Oct. 23, while UT President Gregory Fenves and Daniel Sharphorn — the UT System vice chancellor and general counsel — signed off on Oct. 26. 

“The University and Mr. Patterson decided that rather than Mr. Patterson being employed in a reassigned position … the University would buyout, at a discount, its remaining obligations,” the contract reads. 

Patterson resigned as athletic director on Sept. 15. He hired football coach Charlie Strong and basketball coach Shaka Smart during his tenure. But rising ticket prices, rocky relationships with donors and a business-first mindset left fans and school officials upset with Patterson. At Texas’ football game vs. Rice on Sept. 12, a banner flew above Darrell K Royal Texas – Memorial Stadium. It read: “Patterson Must Go.”

Mike Perrin, a former Texas linebacker and Houston attorney, replaced Patterson on Sept. 16 as interim AD. Perrin has a one-year contract worth $750,000. The University is not currently searching to replace Perrin. 

Perrin and women’s AD Chris Plonsky finalized a 15-year, $250 million apparel contract extension with Nike last week.

Patterson succeeded DeLoss Dodds, Texas’ athletic director of 32 years, in November 2013. Patterson’s initial contract ran through Aug. 31, 2019, with an annual salary of $1.48 million. 

According to the contract, the University “releases and discharges” Patterson from all University obligations. He must still participate in any relevant Big 12, NCAA or University investigations and cannot speak disparagingly about the University. 

“Mr. Patterson and University agree to refrain from publicly making, sending or otherwise communicating any comments … that would reasonably be understood to impair the goodwill, business reputation or good name of the other party,” the contract reads. 

Patterson will also receive up to $21,000 in insurance payments; a lump sum by Nov. 15 for unused vacation and holiday time; and $200,000 for reaching two performance incentives.