MANHATTAN — After listening to nearly two hours of arguments from lawyers representing Kansas State and former football coach Ron Prince in Riley County District Court on Friday, judge David Stutzman made no decision in their ongoing lawsuit.
He told both sides he would take their presentations for summary judgment under advisement and inform them of his decision as soon as he could. He offered no timetable for when a decision would be made.
K-State filed a lawsuit seeking to bar Prince from receiving deferred payments of $3.2 million from a "secret" agreement between Prince and former athletic director Bob Krause in 2008, months before Prince was fired.
Prince's lawyers hope to enforce the agreement and are seeking $3 million in punitive damages. Prince received $1.2 million in buyout money from his regular contract.
Both sides argued their cases confidently and said afterward they were prepared to take the suit to trial.
"I feel good about our arguments," said George Hanson, a lawyer representing K-State.
James Neale, representing Prince, feels the same way. He added that both sides had attempted to reach a settlement, but have not yet been able to do so.
He left open the possibility of further negotiations.
"We have met and mediated, and would always welcome talks about resolution," Neale said.
On Friday, both parties spelled out their arguments. K-State is focusing on three major areas:
* The absence of former school president Jon Wefald's signature on the memorandum.
* The timing of execution on the regular contract and the memorandum. K-State argued that the contract supersedes all previous arrangements, and since the memorandum was signed hours before the contract, it voids the memorandum.
* Prince provided no consideration for the memorandum.
Prince's lawyers took a different approach. They argued that the memorandum didn't need Wefald's signature for two reasons. It was a contract between Prince and K-State's Intercollegiate Athletic Corporation, not the school. With former athletic director Bob Krause, who was president and CEO of the IAC, signing the contract, it did not need Wefald's approval. Also, the 2008 contract, unlike the 2005 version, did not include a provision stating that it was the entire agreement.
Neale went on to argue that Prince would not have signed the 2008 contract if his entire salary had not been guaranteed by the memorandum, and that signing the document was proof of consideration.
He also tried to disprove K-State's signature timeline by pointing out the regular contract and memorandum were signed on the same day. It made no different which document was signed first in such a short span of time.