The saga that started with pictures showing Iowa State basketball coach Larry Eustachy drinking with college co-eds has ended with a nearly million dollar settlement and the coach’s resignation. Iowa State men’s baskeetball coach Larry Eustachy resigned yesterday after his lawyers negotiated an exit deal worth 960-thousand dollars. Iowa State University president Gregory Geoffrey made the announcement last night. He says resolving the situation allows the university to move forward with its educational mission.Geoffrey says Iowa State is “an institution that values integrity, honesty and treating others with respect,” and the deal “brings resolution to a very difficult issue.”Geoffrey says the episode has been a trying time for Iowa State University. Geoffrey says the deal is in the best interest of Eustachy, the university and “the entire Iowa State University family.” Geoffrey says the search for a replacement begins immediately.Geoffrey says he has no concerns about attracting a top flight coach to replace Eustachy.Geoffrey says Iowa State has a great program in one of “the very best basketball conferences in the nation” and many prospective coaches would consider Iowa State a “great opportunity” according to Geoffrey. Geoffrey, though, says the next coach will have to sign a contract that’ll be much more specific than Eustachy’s, laying out expectations on “moral behavior” and how the new coach should represent the university. Steve Zumbach (zumm-bah), the attorney Iowa State hired to negotiate Eustachy’s exit deal, says if there’d been a prolonged legal fight, it would have been much more expensive, both in terms of dollars and reputation.Zumbach says this has been one of the most divisive issues he’s seen confront Iowa State in the 35 years he’s been associated with the institution, and the matter needed to be brought to a close. Zumbach says if allowed to continue, the damage could have been irreparable.Zumbach says if Eustachy had continued the appeal process, things would have stretched out at least another 30 days. Zumbach says that’s 30 days of “critical time” that would have been lost in a search for a new coach. Eustachy will get a check for 110-thousand dollars on July 1st and another lump sum payment of 850-thousand on January 1st. The university will continue to pay Eustachy’s health insurance premium for another six months, ensuring his treatment for alcoholism is covered. Geoffrey expects criticism of the deal. He says some fans will not like the settlement, while he says others will be happy that they’re moving on and not dragging it out into a long and expensive legal battle. Geoffrey says some fans won’t like the settlement, while others will be glad the university and Eustachy were able to reach an agreement that lets “everyone get on with their lives.” Geoffrey says the cost of a long legal battle would have been “very, very large.” Geoffrey says the episode had a life of its own that university officials couldn’t control. Geoffrey says there’s been a “very heated, instense discussion” among fans that’s led to some divisiveness. He says the university’s charge now is to “try to bring everybody back together into one, big Cyclone family.” Geoffrey says he “personally had no knowledge” of Eustachy’s drinking problem until the coach said publicly that he was an acloholic.
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