Former Washington assistant coach Tosh Lupoi, under investigation by the NCAA for allegedly paying for a recruit’s tutoring last year, has agreed to a mutual separation with UW that will pay him $300,000.
Lupoi was not retained as part of new coach Chris Petersen’s staff. Instead, UW announced on Dec. 30 that Lupoi had been reassigned within the athletic department.
Had UW fired Lupoi “without cause,” the school would have owed him $350,000 under terms of his contract. UW would have had to pay Lupoi $700,000 if it fired him without cause before Monday.
Lupoi, a former player and assistant coach at California, joined Steve Sarkisian’s UW staff as defensive line coach in January 2012, arriving with a reputation as one of the Pac-12’s top recruiters. His salary of $350,000 last year made him one of the conference’s 10 highest-paid assistant coaches.
Last month, a former Lynnwood High School assistant track and field coach, Mike Davis, told The Seattle Times that he was meeting with the NCAA to discuss his allegations that Lupoi paid $4,500 in cash for tutoring classes for former Lynnwood High School defensive lineman Andrew Basham. Basham did not qualify to enroll at UW.
Davis has since been asked not speak to the media about the investigation. A UW spokesman had no comment Wednesday about the status of the ongoing investigation.
Last month, Lupoi denied the allegations via Twitter, calling them “untrue attacks.” Reached on his cellphone Wednesday, Lupoi declined to comment.
Sarkisian told reporters in Los Angeles on Tuesday that he has not spoken with the NCAA about the Lupoi investigation.
Lupoi was among the coaches Sarkisian had hoped to bring with him to USC after Sarkisian became the Trojans’ coach in December. Under new NCAA rules, if the allegations against Lupoi prove true, Sarkisian could also face penalties, even at USC, unless he’s able to prove he promoted an atmosphere of compliance at UW.
Sarkisian is currently looking for a defensive line coach to complete USC’s coaching staff. The Los Angeles Times, citing an anonymous source, reported last month that Lupoi had a “less than zero” chance of joining the USC staff.