New Mexico seeks $1 million from Alford

New Mexico officials are insisting that new UCLA Coach Steve Alford owes the school a $1-million buyout, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

The University of New Mexico is giving former head coach Steve Alford until the end of April to pay a $1 million buyout.

UCLA officials said earlier this week that Alford is responsible for the buyout, but that UCLA would work out the details.

Alford took the job at UCLA days after agreeing to a 10-year deal to stay at New Mexico.

The new contract, which took effect April 1, included a $1-million buyout. Alford agreed to come to UCLA on March 30, but in a letter sent to Alford, university officials said the new buyout was in effect, the Journal reported.

Alford had a $150,000 buyout in his old contract.

Asked about the buyout after being hired at UCLA, Alford said, “I know it’s not April 1. The agreement I signed starts April 1. I’m not a lawyer. I’m an Indiana graduate who likes basketball. The lawyers will get together and figure that out.”

Alford agreed to a seven-year deal worth $18.2 million, with a yearly
salary of $2.6 million, according to Guerrero.

UCLA provided Alford with a $200,000 signing bonus. New Mexico officials are now insisting that Alford or UCLA pay $1 million.

— Chris Foster

The Associated Press contributed to this report