ATHENS, Ga., March 27 (UPI) -- Georgia basketball coach Jim Harrick resigned Thursday night, less than three weeks after an academics scandal shamed the school into withdrawing from postseason play.
Harrick had been suspended with pay since March 10, when Athletic Director Vince Dooley announced the Bulldogs would not participate in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. That ended the season for a team almost certainly headed for the NCAA Tournament.
The drastic move came amid allegations of academic fraud and improper benefits that prompted an investigation by the school, SEC and NCAA. That investigation is ongoing.
"Based upon the facts discovered in the investigation to date, his resignation is appropriate and we accept it," said school president Michael Adams.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Harrick had three years remaining on a six-year contract that pays him $600,000 per season. The deal reportedly called for Harrick to receive a settlement of as much as $2.1 million if the school could not directly link him to alleged NCAA violations.
But a statement from the school said the agreement goes into effect immediately and will pay Harrick a total of $254,166, a figure that combines remaining base pay, radio and television payments and a sneaker contract payment.
While yet to reveal the findings of their investigation, both Adams and Dooley expressed their disappointment in terse statements.
"Jim Harrick is a man of considerable coaching talent in whom coach Dooley and I had placed a great deal of confidence," Adams said. "We were greatly disappointed to lose that confidence due to coach Harrick's failure to appropriately manage the basketball program."
"This entire situation has been, and is, regrettable for the athletic program and the university," Dooley said.
Most of the allegations appear to revolve around former Georgia player Tony Cole and his dealings with former assistant Jim Harrick Jr., the coach's son who was dismissed earlier this month.
This is the third straight job ending in disgrace for Harrick, who won the 1995 national championship at UCLA. He was fired from that position after falsifying expense accounts and eventually was hired at Rhode Island.
Harrick changed his mind more than once in leaving Rhode Island for Georgia. Upon his departure, a woman who worked in the Rhode Island athletic department accused Harrick of sexual harassment.