Steve Alford: I only owe New Mexico $200K

New Mexico officials think UCLA coach Steve Alford is one in a million. Alford, on the other hand, feels he is worth only $200,000.

Alford has told New Mexico officials he will not pay the $1-million buyout they were demanding, the Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday. He said he owes the school only $200,000.

Alford agreed this year to a 10-year contract extension with New Mexico, then bolted to be UCLA’s coach two days before the contract extension kicked in. The new contract included a $1-million buyout provision, which New Mexico officials believe is in effect even though the contract hadn’t kicked in.

New Mexico officials contend that both contracts required a 30-day notice for termination, which would take Alford into the new contract.

At the time of his hiring, 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.”

— Chris Foster