The standoff between former coach Kevin Stallings and the Pitt administration continued on Friday after Stallings was relieved of his duties as head coach on Thursday morning.
The issue at hand remains the buyout that Stallings is owed. Stallings, through his attorneys Scott Tompsett and Jim Lieber, released a statement Friday afternoon that the believe Stallings is owed his entire $9.4 million buyout.
Colin Dunlap of 93.7 The Fan reported on Friday morning that Stallings had been offered $4.8 million, with the threat that Pitt would terminate Stallings for cause, which would invalidate the buyout provisions of his contract
The statement from Stallings’ attorneys reads:
“As Pitt said yesterday, Coach Stallings has been told he will not continue as Pitt men’s basketball coach. However, contrary to multiple published reports attributed to unnamed sources, Pitt has not offered Coach Stallings a buyout of $7.5 million dollars. The actual number offered is far less.
“Further, Mr. Lieber and I vehemently disagree with reports from unnamed sources that Pitt has cause to terminate Coach Stallings’ contract for cause based on comments Coach Stallings made at the Louisville game over two months ago on January 2, 2018.
“It is our position that Coach Stallings is due and owed his full contractual buyout.”
The comments Dunlap’s report and the attorneys’ statement refers to occurred on Jan. 2 in Louisville, when Stallings responded to hecklers in the crowd with “at least we didn’t pay our players $100,000,” made in reference to the ongoing FBI investigation of Adidas and the staff of then-head coach Rick Pitino arranging a $100,000 payment to recruit Brian Bowen.
Stallings said at the time that he was sticking up for his players:
“Somebody said something bad about my players, and so, I’m just going to stick up for my players. I probably said the wrong thing, but I’m not going to let people talk crap about my players. We’re down. The game’s over with. You don’t need to insult kids that are out there fighting hard and trying to do their best. So, like I said, I probably should have chosen some different words, but I’m not going to let people take shots at our players.”
UPDATE, 5:57 p.m: The Pitt athletic department declined to comment.