Oregon State sues Georgia Tech’s Todd Stansbury, alleging breach of contract

Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury .  (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury . (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury has been sued for breach of contract by Oregon State, his former employer, according to court documents obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The story was first reported by The Oregonian earlier Saturday.

Oregon State, from where Stansbury was hired in September 2016, alleged in its lawsuit, filed Wednesday, that Stansbury stopped making payments on money owed the school as part of his buyout for leaving before his contract was completed.

Stansbury left his position as Oregon State AD a little more than a year into the job. He signed a five-year contract in 2015.

Stansbury owed about $2.1 million when he left for Tech and had been making payments through July before stopping, according to court documents.

Given that Stansbury had made considerable progress in repaying the debt, reducing the principal owed from the original $2.1 million to $1.4 million as of Oct. 31 of this year, along with interest accruing at the contracted 9 percent, the dispute may concern how much is still owed or the rate of its repayment.

“It is our policy to not comment on pending litigation,” said Scott Zolke, Stansbury’s attorney.

The buyout was a central element of the contract that Tech and Stansbury crafted together. Stansbury had strong interest in taking the job, as did Tech in hiring him, but the buyout was a major obstacle for him to accept.

To help him handle the obligation, then-president G.P. "Bud" Peterson agreed on a contract that included a $1.1 million loan from the athletic association to Stansbury to help cover the buyout. The loan would be forgiven if he were to stay through his five-year deal. (He would owe the entire amount immediately, plus interest, if he were to leave early, a term that Stansbury accepted as an indication of his commitment to Tech.)

His salary also was generous, at least in part to further assist with the buyout. Stansbury’s starting salary was $900,000, an 80 percent raise from his Oregon State salary and $200,000 more than predecessor Mike Bobinski was making at the time he took the AD job at Purdue.