Mark Bernardino
Courtesy of: University of Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia, July 12. AS is usually standard in high profile separations such as CEOs and head coaches leaving teams, the Washington Post has unearthed that Virginia Athletics and former head coach Mark Bernardino signed a binding two-year "non-disparagement clause" gagging both sides from revealing any information about the break up.

WaPo is reporting that Bernardino is guaranteed his full salary for the next two years, which comes in at $104,000, and will also claim university benefits through March 31, 2015, "even if he takes a new job elsewhere."

That's a pretty good deal for Bernardino all things considered, and could lead to a financial windfall for the former Virginia general should he decide to immediately jump into one of the coaching openings currently to be found around the nation.

Virginia acted quickly in replacing Bernardino by nabbing former Houston head coach Augie Busch as its news head coach on Wednesday. This, just a week after Bernardino was perceived to have abruptly retired on the first day of recruiting for the Class of 2014.

Documentation found by WaPo, however, reveals the retirement was not so abrupt internally. Athletics Director Craig Littlepage, in a letter dated on June 27, stated that there had been conversations regarding Bernardino's impending retirement weeks prior to the two finally deciding to part ways.

While the rumor mill continues to swirl about what exactly led to Bernardino's department from Virginia after 35 years at the helm, there's little chance that any reportable fact will be available until the end of the two-year gag order. Bernardino has been deflecting all of his closest friends since his retirement, and the answer regarding why is now obvious. He has at least 208,000 reasons to keep quiet.

Full Washington Post article.

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