The University of New Mexico has reached an agreement in principle with former Head Men's Basketball Coach Steve Alford and UCLA on Coach Alford's buyout. While there are still some final details to resolve, the financial terms are favorable for UNM, while acknowledging the uncertainty that is a part of any contract dispute.

Under his previous contract, the buyout would have been $200,000 if Coach Alford's last day had been March 30, but that would have also resulted in his being ineligible to receive certain financial benefits. The buyout, plus the saved benefits, would have resulted in a net $525,000 to UNM.

If Coach Alford's last day had been April 29, as UNM asserted, he may have been eligible to receive some of those financial benefits and, even with a $1 million buyout, the net result for UNM would have been about $675,000. The agreement reached in principle results in a net benefit of approximately $625,000, which is clearly a positive result for UNM.

UNM appreciates the support of Lobo fans everywhere as it looks forward to the upcoming Men's Basketball season led by Coach Craig Neal.

Statement from UNM Board of Regents President Jack Fortner:
On behalf of the UNM Board of Regents, we are pleased that President Frank and our Office of University Counsel evaluated the costs and benefits to UNM under Coach Alford's previous contract and the April 1 contract. This resulted in an agreement that is fair to all parties and avoids costly, lengthy arbitration. Throughout this process, UNM has acted in good faith and never lost sight of its responsibility to the UNM community.

Statement from UNM President Robert G. Frank:
We worked diligently to find the best possible outcome under the circumstances. The result is within $50,000 of the net amount UNM would have received had Coach Alford paid the $1 million buyout. The outcome is favorable for UNM and allows us to move forward with the assurance that we have been good stewards of University resources. Most importantly, we have the great fortune of having Coach Neal to lead the UNM Men's Basketball team to its next outstanding season.

Media contact: Cinnamon Blair, (505) 277-1806; email: