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Travis DeCuire

Montana head coach Travis DeCuire looks on and smiles as the Grizzlies prepared for the NCAA tournament game against Michigan in March.

MISSOULA — The Montana men's basketball team lost out on an $85,000 payday when its road game against UCLA scheduled for Dec. 6 was canceled, Athletic Director Kent Haslam told

The game was canceled due to area wildfires in southern California, and UCLA cited the “acts of God” clause as its reason for not having to pay, Haslam said. At the time of the game, UCLA called off the game for more of a public safety reason — “concerns stemming from area wildfires” — instead of citing a specific act of God.

Montana hasn’t attempted to challenge UCLA’s reasoning, and Haslam isn’t anticipating that Montana will try.

“No,” Haslam said when asked if Montana will pursue the $85,000 called for in the game contract. “I don’t think so. Not as of right now. No. No.”

Without the expected payday from UCLA, Montana totaled $295,000 in guaranteed-game money during the 2017-18 season, according to game contracts for the Legends Classic and the contests at Stanford and Washington.

The first $83,000 in guaranteed-game money goes to the athletic department, according to head coach Travis DeCuire’s contract that was active during the season.

After the $83,000 requirement is met, DeCuire is contracted to receive a maximum of $80,000, payable as a bonus, should the guaranteed-game money reach that high.

The next $30,000 made through guaranteed-game revenue is distributed among associate head coach Chris Cobb and assistant coaches Rachi Wortham and Jay Flores, as determined by DeCuire in consultation with Haslam.

Once the guaranteed-game revenue exceeds the $110,000 in payable bonuses, the remaining revenue — $102,000 for the 2017-18 season — is retained in the men’s basketball overall operating budget.

That money can be used at DeCuire’s discretion “subject to University and State legal restrictions on use of restricted funds (i.e., recruiting, professional development, summer school funding for men’s basketball student-athletes, etc., but not for salaries and bonuses),” according to DeCuire’s contract.

Frank Gogola covers Montana Grizzlies men's basketball for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at