In response to our Freedom of Information Act request on July 22, West Virginia University has released the separation agreement between the school and Vic Koenning. Koenning, the former defensive coordinator of the Mountaineer football team. WVU agreed to mutually separate after Koenning was accused of, and did not deny, making insensitive comments to several West Virginia players, including sophomore safety Kerry Martin.
The agreement details the money to be paid to Koenning, including bi-weekly payments of $24,663.23 from Aug. 1, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2021, and of $9,672.46 bi-weekly from Feb, 21, 2021 through Feb. 28, 2022. Those payments total $591,451.69, and will be paid even if Koenning gets another job during the payment periods.
As is standard in most such agreements, both parties agreed not to disparage the other in any manner. Koenning was also not prohibited from communicating with WVU players or their families, so long as that communication “does not materially interfere with the University’s interests and operations.”
The school declined to provide any results of the internal investigation, noting that to do so would be in violation of the Family Rights and Privacy Act, in that identification of students, even if their names were redacted, would be easily made. The school noted that such records can only be released with the written consent of the students.
Additionally, a provision in the West Virginia Code cited by the school (29B-1-4(a)(8) notes that “communications reflecting the institution’s internal deliberative process are exempt from production.”
The formal investigation into the incident was conducted by the Morgantown office of Bowles, Rice, LLP. The investigation was, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, fully independent with WVU’s participation limited to making witnesses available for interviews.