OSU files a lawsuit against former athletic director

Todd Stansbury ended his contract with Oregon State Athletics prematurely in 2016, resulting in over a million dollars in debt. OSU asked that he pay his debts on or before June 15, 2019 or legal action would be taken. Since then, OSU has filed a lawsuit against Stansbury.

Adriana Gutierrez, News Contributor

In a statement released on Dec. 18 by Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, a firm backing Oregon State University, attorney Teresa H. Pearson solidified a lawsuit being placed against former Athletic Director Todd Stansbury after he terminated his contract with OSU before his allowed date to do so. 

Stansbury’s contract as the athletic director was originally put in effect from Jul. 31, 2015 to Jun. 30, 2020, but was terminated by Stansbury himself on Dec. 4, 2016. Due to the breach in contract, Stansbury was required to pay liquidated damages of his base salary until the date in which the contract determined to be the end of his term as director. 

The amount of $2,107,778 was to be paid starting exactly one month after his termination, with an interest of 9% incruing each year. Stansbury made payments from October 2017 to July 2019 at a total amount of $620,000, leaving a balance of $1,471,888.78 plus $41,374.19

in interest fees. 

The university said it has held up all parts of the agreement on their side, and made the demands necessary to engage in Stansbury’s notification of his fees to OSU.

In section 12.A of Stansbury’s contract, it states, “the promise to work for the University [as athletic director] for the entire term of this agreement is the essence of this agreement… that University’s investment would be lost if athletic director were to resign… before the end of the agreement term,” according to the Employment Agreement for the vice president and athletic director of Intercollegiate Athletics. 

In an official letter written by Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP addressing Stansbury’s attorney Scott Zolke, the firm demanded that “Mr. Stansbury pay all past due amounts owing in full on or before June 15, 2019… failure to make such payment will result in legal action against Mr. Stansbury.”

Both Stansbury and Zolke did not respond to inquiry for comment before the publication of this story. 

When requesting a comment from Pearson, she asked that all inquiries be directed to Steve Clark, vice president of University Relations and Marketing of OSU. Pearson along with the rest of the firm is unable to comment

on pending litigations. 

“The decision to file this legal [complaint] was made by university leadership,” Clark said in an email statement. “As a state university, we feel that it is important to conclude the contractual obligations OSU and Todd Stansbury agreed to upon his joining

Oregon State University.”

Stansbury’s position was filled by current director, Scott Barnes, who was appointed in December 2016 and began his employment with OSU in February 2017. 

The money being paid by Stansbury will go directly back into OSU’s Athletic Department, according to Clark. Guided now by Barnes’ 10-year plan, the department is currently making improvements to athletic facilities, including Gill Coliseum and the softball stadium. 

“The university’s athletics department is enjoying significant success,” Clark said. 

According to Clark, Student-athletes are earning record GPA rates, and are deeply engaged in the community with significant leadership and volunteerism, including leading Pac-12 Conference and national efforts to improve student-athlete mental health. Additionally, Clark said OSU student-athletes and the OSU Athletics Department are recording national and Pac-12 Conference achievements on playing fields, courts and sports arenas.

Updates will be made as the story progresses.

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