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University of Tennessee chancellor Beverly Devenport welcomes John Currie as the school's new vice chancellor and athletic director during an introduction ceremony Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.
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New athletics director John Currie's MOU with Tennessee

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KNOXVILLE -- One day after introducing John Currie as its new athletics director, John Currie released its memorandum of understanding with the new leader of the Volunteers.

Currie's deal with Tennessee is for five years through June 30, 2022, and is worth $900,000 per year. His base pay will increase by $25,000 on July 1 of every year. He's also due a "signing incentive" of $75,000 within 30 days.

If Currie remains Tennessee's athletics director by the end of his original contract date, he will receive a $1.5 million retention bonus.

Tennessee is responsible for Currie's $175,000 buyout with Kansas State, where he was the athletics director since 2009, and the university also will provide Currie a one-time moving expense of $35,000 and a housing reimbursement of up to $5,000 for his temporary housing expenses.

If it fires Currie, Tennessee would owe him a buyout of $100,000 for each month remaining on his deal in equal monthly installments through the ending date of the MOU.

Currie's buyout would be mitigated by another job, and he is required to make his "reasonable best efforts" to find employment of a similar caliber.

If Currie cancels his deal in its first three years, he would owe Tennessee a buyout equal to what he would have been paid during the remainder of the contract. If he cancels the deal within the final two years, he'd owe the university $25,000 times the number of months remaining on the MOU.

Currie's deal also includes incentives ranging from $90,000 to $150,000 for high graduation rates and top-40 finishes in the Directors' Cup standings, making $300,000 the max bonus he can receive in a single year.

Tennessee was tied for 113th in those standings coming out of the fall.

Currie also will receive one skybox and 16 skybox tickets at Neyland Stadium and four additional season tickets for football games, four season tickets for men's and women's basketball games, baseball games and softball games.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com.

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