NIU will not pursue money from Owens

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Northern Illinois will not pursue any money from former head women's basketball coach Carol Owens, who was named an associate coach at Notre Dame on Wednesday.

NIU spokesperson Donna Turner explained that Director of Athletics Jeff Compher spoke with some of the people who put together Owens' contract, including Northwestern athletic director and former NIU AD Jim Phillips, to ask about the intent of the termination by employee clause. Compher found that the intent was really if Owens were to resign to take a head coaching job at a BCS school.

Owens resigned her post at NIU on April 29, saying she needed a better balance in her life.

According to Owens' contract with NIU, if Owens resigned to take another coaching position during the third or fourth year of a four-year deal she signed with NIU in 2008, she would have had to pay 25 percent of her $150,000 base salary for the remaining years of the contract.

Although it should be pointed out that technically Owens resigned for personal reasons, then took a coaching job two weeks later, had she resigned directly to take another coaching job, she would have owed NIU $75,000. The timing of Owens' resignation and subsequent new job raised questions on whether or not NIU had grounds to attempt to recover at least some of the money Owens would have owed.

Since Owens took an associate coaching job at Notre Dame, NIU believes there are no issues with her contract.

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Will the NIU football team play for the MAC title this year?
Yes
No
Too soon to tell