Cuonzo Martin's deal with UT released

Cuonzo Martin speaks during his introduction as the new University of Tennessee men's basketball coach on Monday, March 28, 2010.

Photo by Chad Greene

Cuonzo Martin speaks during his introduction as the new University of Tennessee men's basketball coach on Monday, March 28, 2010.

In drafting Cuonzo Martin’s Memorandum of Understanding, the University of Tennessee included a guideline that easily could be labeled as the Bruce Pearl clause.

Though short on specifics, the clause clearly lays out that the new UT men’s basketball coach will risk losing his job if he repeatedly commits NCAA violations.

Pearl, who was implicated by the NCAA for numerous major violations, including one for unethical conduct because he lied to NCAA investigators, was fired three days after the Vols bowed out of the 2011 NCAA tournament with an ugly loss to Michigan.

If Martin is fired without cause, he will receive 60 percent ($780,000) of his base salary of $1.3 million for however many years remain on the contract. If Martin left for another job during the first three years of his contract, he would owe UT two times his base salary ($2.6 million). If he leaves during the fourth year and beyond, he would owe $1.3 million.

If Martin is fired with cause, UT does not owe him anything.

The MOU, which the News Sentinel acquired Wednesday through a Tennessee Open Records request, was signed by Martin on March 27, the same day he left Missouri State to take the UT job.

No matter what, Martin — in writing, at least — will have five years that won’t be hindered by sanctions from the NCAA.

Martin will have however many years of certain sanctions the NCAA Committee of Infractions delivers tacked on to the end of his contract. That clause includes years that are affected by recruiting limitations, scholarship reductions or post-season bans.

When UT received a Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA in September, it self-imposed 25 percent salary cuts for Pearl and his staff of assistants along with recruiting bans that ranged from three months to a year. Two months later, SEC commissioner Mike Slive tacked on an eight-game suspension for Pearl during conference play.

Shortly after UT bowed out of the NCAA tournament, Pearl and his assistants were fired in March. UT and its former coaches are set to meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions next month, but will likely wait an additional two or three months before it learns if it will receive further sanctions.

Martin, who made $300,000 in his final season at Missouri State, has the potential to cash in on a number of performance-based bonuses.

Winning the SEC East regular-season championship would net Martin $50,000, winning the SEC postseason tournament is good for $75,000 and an SEC regular-season championship would pay $100,000. None of Martin’s bonuses within this parameter are cumulative, so UT would only owe him for the highest achievement.

A similar, non-cumulative scale is set up for Martin’s achievements outside the SEC. A postseason trip to the NIT will pay $25,000, while an appearance in the NCAA tournament is good for $50,000. Within the NCAA tournament is where Martin can truly cash in, as a Sweet 16 trip will pay $75,000, Elite Eight is $100,000, Final Four is $150,000 and a NCAA national championship would net a bonus of more than 15 percent of his salary at $200,000.

Strong showings in Academic Progress Rate and Graduate Success Rate scores could also provide Martin with bonuses that range from $25,000-$50,000.

UT will pay the $200,000 Martin owes Missouri State for leaving, but Martin will be responsible for personal tax obligations inherited from the move. He also will have access to two university-loaned vehicles and will pocket $25,000 for moving expenses.

Tracy Webster, whom Martin hired from Nebraska, will be Martin’s highest-paid assistant, earning an annual salary of $190,000. Jon Harris and Kent Williams, both of whom coached under Martin at Missouri State, will make $175,000 and $125,000, respectively.

Director of basketball operations Houston Fancher, the lone holdover from the Pearl era, will earn $84,000. Neither Fancher nor any of the assistants are working with contracts.

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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Comments » 65

DandyVol writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You've got that right.

VOLDoll writes:

Zo we are just glad that you are our new coach.
The UT and the city of Knoxville as well as our great state deserve much better than the clown that occupied your job.
Most of us are very thankful that not only is the clown gone but that you were the choice to replace him.
Again, welcome aboard and good luck!

vol75 writes:

Forget comparisons from the past. Coach Martin is a classy guy with integrity and intensity. He seems to already be restoring pride for all the right reasons to the program. I look forward to how he will lead the young men that wear the Orange.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to vol75:

Forget comparisons from the past. Coach Martin is a classy guy with integrity and intensity. He seems to already be restoring pride for all the right reasons to the program. I look forward to how he will lead the young men that wear the Orange.

Amen!

VolNExile writes:

It's about time that UT figured out how to write contracts that reward what should be rewarded, punish for cutting out early, and cut violators off without a dime.

Looking forward to watching CCM earn every penny!

tntoak writes:

Martin seems to me a lot more like Dooley in terms of demeanor, overall focus, and goals for the program as a whole. I like that mentality and how it helps put UT in a more positive light.

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RoadTrip writes:

in response to tntoak:

Martin seems to me a lot more like Dooley in terms of demeanor, overall focus, and goals for the program as a whole. I like that mentality and how it helps put UT in a more positive light.

I fully agree. After a bad round of hires and some poorly handled terminations it is clear to me that the new hires have the stuff we need on Rocky Top. One more to go in baseball.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

How SOON we forget about all of the good basketball and also some great basketball Bruce Pearl brought the last 6 years. Tennessee fans or so fickle

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

in response to brauhuff#295403:

How SOON we forget about all of the good basketball and also some great basketball Bruce Pearl brought the last 6 years. Tennessee fans or so fickle

Agreed! Finally someone with some sense on here. The guy took us to the elite 8 and was only one point away from the final 4. The supposed one bad season was this past year. Wade Houston or Buzz Peterson would've killed for a season like last year. I tend to believe UT would've had a great year if it weren't for the NCAA investigation messing with the players' minds. The beginning of the season proved that with wins at Villanova and Pittsburgh. The spineless AD should've rode it out. No way UT gets hit with more sanctions than UConn. We'll see I guess.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to brauhuff#295403:

How SOON we forget about all of the good basketball and also some great basketball Bruce Pearl brought the last 6 years. Tennessee fans or so fickle

R U serious? He almost killed the program.
He did not win a damn thing.
He is a cheating, lying hypocrite whom got what he deserved.

iowavol writes:

in response to VolNExile:

It's about time that UT figured out how to write contracts that reward what should be rewarded, punish for cutting out early, and cut violators off without a dime.

Looking forward to watching CCM earn every penny!

Yeah, they let somebody besides Hamilton work on it.

born2ride writes:

That is a lot of money for Hamilton to pay a coach who has never taken a team to an NCAA tourney game.

VOLliven2it writes:

in response to brauhuff#295403:

How SOON we forget about all of the good basketball and also some great basketball Bruce Pearl brought the last 6 years. Tennessee fans or so fickle

No one takes anything away from what Coach Pearl did while here to better our bb program. Likewise, we have to remember how he left us and that is a tough pill to swallow. Now the time is here to move on and let our new head coach and staff do all they can to help us get beyond debacles of our recent past.

clvolfan writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Amen!

Like the preacher said,"Amen and Amen".

macon_volfan writes:

I don't make anywhere near $84,000 a year, but that seems awfully low for a major D1 position. Houston Fancher will work L O N G hours, and if you break down his salary by the hour, I bet many good paying factory jobs pay more (per hour). Still, glad he remained on staff. GBO.

ericshoskins#523684 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

R U serious? He almost killed the program.
He did not win a damn thing.
He is a cheating, lying hypocrite whom got what he deserved.

Good grief. Pearl took UT to its ONLY #1 ranking in school history. He got UT to its ONLY Elite 8 in school history. He won the East a couple of times and had us in the NCAA Tourney for SIX consecutive seasons. Dislike him because he cheated, but to discredit him as though he did nothing just makes you look like an imbecile.

I hope Martin is successful, but fans are going to be pining for Pearl (and the class he would have brought in and players he would have kept) when UT finishes 5th or 6th in the East this year and barely makes it into the NIT... if that.

Tennessee hoops is going to be bad this year. And fans will return to what they were when Buzz was getting us to the NIT... bring on the black curtains.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Hope he does well. We need some big guys. Small ball won't cut it. The best 5 guards in the country can't win the national championship...We don't need to apologize to anyone about anything. We are in a great conference with a great school, great fans, great alumni, great facilities, great colors, great climate, great sports program, absent the AD, and we should relfect that in our sporting endeavors. But I don't want any excuses. Not now, not again. Leave it on the court. Whatever happens, happens. But no excuses. That's what we want...Only your best. And spend enough time with you family and friends. Enjoy it. You hit the lottery. We are making you rich.....Good for you. Now give us our hobby back. We like watching the Vols. And it's better when were are the best...Thanks for coming out. we're here all week......

ROCKYTOPBRAD writes:

how can maryland outspend tennessee for a basketball coach

VOLDoll writes:

in response to ericshoskins#523684:

Good grief. Pearl took UT to its ONLY #1 ranking in school history. He got UT to its ONLY Elite 8 in school history. He won the East a couple of times and had us in the NCAA Tourney for SIX consecutive seasons. Dislike him because he cheated, but to discredit him as though he did nothing just makes you look like an imbecile.

I hope Martin is successful, but fans are going to be pining for Pearl (and the class he would have brought in and players he would have kept) when UT finishes 5th or 6th in the East this year and barely makes it into the NIT... if that.

Tennessee hoops is going to be bad this year. And fans will return to what they were when Buzz was getting us to the NIT... bring on the black curtains.

Big deal!!!!!!!!!

Mighty Butler, yes powerhouse Butler went to back to back national championship games and our fans celebrate being ranked number 1. LOL!
Only here would fans get excited about being ranked number one. \
I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what he won?
He won when the SEC was at an all time low.
Hell he even had a losing record against a Kentucky coach that was fired.
So all of the Pearl worshippers need to realize that he won in a really bad league, cheated and lied to do it and when it was all said and done he never won a damn thing.
Only here in Tennessee would a coach be worshipped for winning a few meaningless games

Go Zo!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

LOL! I guess in order to justify it's existence the NCAA will be "stricter" according to it's boss. Lookout Martin! The NCAA wants UT!lol. I don't believe they really want to be "stricter" but they'll probably throw a few curves at our and OSU's programs to make people think their somewhat silly rules(many) that always punish the wrong people are good. Limit phone calls? Who made that ridiculous rule. BBQs? Coaches should be able to invite any person to their own homes, provided the parents ok it. We DO need to follow the rules though regardless and I hope Martin remembers Pearl's lessons.
Looks like Martin will be here a while. I like that. He seems to be a fine man. Sorry VolDoll but I think Pearl was a decent fellow and would love to retrace some of his steps at UT. Too bad. I'm glad though that Hammy is working for compliance even though it limits our recruiting at first.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Big deal!!!!!!!!!

Mighty Butler, yes powerhouse Butler went to back to back national championship games and our fans celebrate being ranked number 1. LOL!
Only here would fans get excited about being ranked number one. \
I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what he won?
He won when the SEC was at an all time low.
Hell he even had a losing record against a Kentucky coach that was fired.
So all of the Pearl worshippers need to realize that he won in a really bad league, cheated and lied to do it and when it was all said and done he never won a damn thing.
Only here in Tennessee would a coach be worshipped for winning a few meaningless games

Go Zo!

Wha? huh?!!! Doh!!! I'm soooooohh tempted to call you something. But I suspect again that your're A KNS plant just trying to rile up an argument that should already have DIED!
Hey maybe you're being sarcastic with the beautiful MRS. VD? If you were an UT fan you also were celebrating the "few meaningless games".

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Zo we are just glad that you are our new coach.
The UT and the city of Knoxville as well as our great state deserve much better than the clown that occupied your job.
Most of us are very thankful that not only is the clown gone but that you were the choice to replace him.
Again, welcome aboard and good luck!

Just remember all this praise heaped on a guy who has not won a game in the SEC may make you look pretty stupid 3 or 4 years down the road. The BB program has always been a joke until BP came along so don't be critical of the results. While his method maybe questioned not the results

easleychuck writes:

Bruce Pearl lied to the NCAA. None of the events or violations that Pearl and his staff committed gained UT any advantage with any players who ever made it to campus. Bruce Pearl got himself and all his assistants fired because of his 'cheating' that again to the best of my knowledge didn't gain them one thing in the area of actually getting players.

He went 6 for 6 with Peterson's remaining players and the kids that he recruited. He made UT basketball relevant. He then ruined his professional life and those of his assistants doing things that at the end of the day gained his program nothing.

Coach Martin now has to pick-up the pieces and try to sustain the program. I support him fully and wish him well.

I will never. for the life of me, understand all of the poison and hate for Bruce Pearl. The guy disappointed the heck out of me but the level of hate is pathetic.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Zo we are just glad that you are our new coach.
The UT and the city of Knoxville as well as our great state deserve much better than the clown that occupied your job.
Most of us are very thankful that not only is the clown gone but that you were the choice to replace him.
Again, welcome aboard and good luck!

Speak for yourself only.Don't include the masses that you know nothing about.You are sick,sick,sick.

volaholic45 writes:

OK, I'll give it a try . . .

I'm just happy that we'll have another chance to be better thought of by Kentucky and Florida fans. And if Conzo gets the national sports press to say nice things about Tennessee, he'll be worth every penny. . . .

Sorry, didn't work. Can't do it.

richvol writes:

in response to macon_volfan:

I don't make anywhere near $84,000 a year, but that seems awfully low for a major D1 position. Houston Fancher will work L O N G hours, and if you break down his salary by the hour, I bet many good paying factory jobs pay more (per hour). Still, glad he remained on staff. GBO.

Agree...seems very low,especially for a guy they were determined to hold unto during the coaching change.

writer#358485 writes:

It's interesting that the two coaches with the best winning records at Tennessee also were "class acts", Gen. Neyland and Phil Fulmer. To me at least, that proves you can win and play by the rules. We now have head football and basketball coaches that also appear to be class acts. Whether they can win or not remains to be seen, but we know it can be done.

I'd rather win with class than win at any cost. There seem to be a lot of posters here (not all, but a lot) who think winning is everything, regardless of all else. That's a rather sad commentary on the current state of our society, rather than college athletics. It is, after all, just a game (any sport). Win or lose, I'll be pulling for the Vols to win with class, but not at any cost. We went that route in both major sports recently and the results were not very pleasant.

VolNationPride writes:

in response to ericshoskins#523684:

Good grief. Pearl took UT to its ONLY #1 ranking in school history. He got UT to its ONLY Elite 8 in school history. He won the East a couple of times and had us in the NCAA Tourney for SIX consecutive seasons. Dislike him because he cheated, but to discredit him as though he did nothing just makes you look like an imbecile.

I hope Martin is successful, but fans are going to be pining for Pearl (and the class he would have brought in and players he would have kept) when UT finishes 5th or 6th in the East this year and barely makes it into the NIT... if that.

Tennessee hoops is going to be bad this year. And fans will return to what they were when Buzz was getting us to the NIT... bring on the black curtains.

First, I liked Pearl and was hoping we could keep him. But I have to discredit one thing you said. You said fans will be pining for bruce and the class he was going to bring in. Well that class would have consisted of Ware, that's it. Jones we kept but didn't qualify. Other than that, we were looking at Ajayi as a big, who is exactly the same as Yemi, both raw. His class would have been the same.

As far as keeping players, hopson was gone either way. He said he basically made his decision after michigan game. Harris was only staying if his draft pick was low, which its not so he would have left too.

Try not to be doom and gloom if you like the Vols, you may get surprised.

VOL1972 writes:

I know this is going against what most Vol fans think, but CBP left this program in much better shape than he found it. 6 of the 9 players that CCM inherits were 4 star recruits out of high school. I think the other 3 are walk-ons. So the cupboard isn't exactly bare and it's whole lot more talent he left behind at MO. ST.

We'll have to wait a couple of years to find out if CCM can recruit, but I'm reasonably sure he can coach.

I don't expect us to win the conference next year, but if the NCAA doesn't slam us with sanctions, I think most everyone will be surprised how well we do this season. After that, it's all about how good of a job CCM can do recruiting new talent.

mlynn1 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Zo we are just glad that you are our new coach.
The UT and the city of Knoxville as well as our great state deserve much better than the clown that occupied your job.
Most of us are very thankful that not only is the clown gone but that you were the choice to replace him.
Again, welcome aboard and good luck!

Good God lady, give it a rest. Are you stupid?

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

Fire his butt no matter what the cost is our program will be a better program once thats done until then we will always have a loosing record,this dude cant recuit talent he didnt do nothing ats and he wont do nothing here

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

Fire his butt no matter what the cost is our program will be a better program once thats done until then we will always have a loosing record,this dude cant recuit talent he didnt do nothing ats and he wont do nothing here

Pretty much a lead-pipe cinch he can coach better than you can write. Even if you had better command of the language, your basic point is silly on its face. CCM went from 11 wins his first year at MoSt. to 26 in his third year. The Missouri Valley Conference isn't the SEC, but it is no worse than the conference Bruce Pearl came to UT from, and he wasted no time going from the bottom of it to the top. Why not wait at least a season or two before concluding he can't do the same here?

Ayres_Hall writes:

Let's not forget that Bruce Pearl also left the program with a NCAA investigation and probable sanctions, two poor signees to replace 6 seniors, and a history of drug use and flunk-outs.

We welcome the total package in Cuonzo Martin.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Pretty much a lead-pipe cinch he can coach better than you can write. Even if you had better command of the language, your basic point is silly on its face. CCM went from 11 wins his first year at MoSt. to 26 in his third year. The Missouri Valley Conference isn't the SEC, but it is no worse than the conference Bruce Pearl came to UT from, and he wasted no time going from the bottom of it to the top. Why not wait at least a season or two before concluding he can't do the same here?

His command of the language is so bad that he's gotta be a KNS plant.
Martin did reverse MSU's fortunes didn't he?
I'm actually looking forward to this next season. It'll be very interesting to see what we can do with a point guard or 2. We should have decent speed as a team... or go half court? Anyhow our transition from D to O should look better...assuming we don't just throw up 3s. I like the old-fashion offense...mixed with some pick and rolls along with a lot of tight man to man D. But I DO hope he throws in some form of zone sometimes when needed. It seems we were missing that some last season.

uttcut writes:

The only question I have is...

Why $25K for moving expenses?? That's a LOT of bubble wrap!

10ECBob writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

R U serious? He almost killed the program.
He did not win a damn thing.
He is a cheating, lying hypocrite whom got what he deserved.

Not only fickle but vicious!!!

10ECBob writes:

If the new coach doesn't recruit against KY should we join the OVC?

easleychuck writes:

in response to uttcut:

The only question I have is...

Why $25K for moving expenses?? That's a LOT of bubble wrap!

Must be some might expensive cable hook-up fees.

Jakevol writes:

Will give him a chance and will see what kind of team he puts on the floor.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Wha? huh?!!! Doh!!! I'm soooooohh tempted to call you something. But I suspect again that your're A KNS plant just trying to rile up an argument that should already have DIED!
Hey maybe you're being sarcastic with the beautiful MRS. VD? If you were an UT fan you also were celebrating the "few meaningless games".

KNS, please let this gentlemen call me anything he would like. It's quite obvious that it would be the first time he has ever called a woman. lol!

Seriously my man, dont hang on here so much and maybe, just maybe you could meet someone.

Hell there is always the Navy! LMAO!

VOLDoll writes:

in response to amyinsparta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yor're waSting your breath. As my husband has said many times Bruce Pearl played the UT fanbase very well. He knew that they were not basketball smart and all he had to do was win a few games, act like a circus clown and he would have most of the fanbase eating out of his hands. And as you can tell a lot of grown men on here had serious man crushes on him.
So at least he could draw up a gameplan for somethings. lol!
The problem Pearl had was that those people are sitting at home on there couch, chewing tobacco and have never been to a game. The people that actually go to games and donate money are smart enough to cut their losses and get rid of his fake asz, thank goodness!!!1

VOLDoll writes:

in response to writer#358485:

It's interesting that the two coaches with the best winning records at Tennessee also were "class acts", Gen. Neyland and Phil Fulmer. To me at least, that proves you can win and play by the rules. We now have head football and basketball coaches that also appear to be class acts. Whether they can win or not remains to be seen, but we know it can be done.

I'd rather win with class than win at any cost. There seem to be a lot of posters here (not all, but a lot) who think winning is everything, regardless of all else. That's a rather sad commentary on the current state of our society, rather than college athletics. It is, after all, just a game (any sport). Win or lose, I'll be pulling for the Vols to win with class, but not at any cost. We went that route in both major sports recently and the results were not very pleasant.

And that is why Pearl is no longer the coach at UT. The people that actually love the university want no part of Pearl, Kiffin or anyone that has no integrity. It really pizzes me off reading some of these clowns on here crying about Pearl and how much they loved his cheatin asz.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

It's like a wart...a fungus...a troll? maybe VD is absolutely insane...'course I'm not a qualified mental therapeutic doc! she may just be one of those people who repeats things over and over and over andoverandoverandoverdittodittodittostc.etc.!
I'm not positive but I don't think she/it likes Bruce Pearl. God forbid that Martin ever messes up!

VOLDoll writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

KNS, please let this gentlemen call me anything he would like. It's quite obvious that it would be the first time he has ever called a woman. lol!

Seriously my man, dont hang on here so much and maybe, just maybe you could meet someone.

Hell there is always the Navy! LMAO!

Never mind! It only took him 30 minutes to respond. Poor guy! Some guys just have know chance!

VOLDoll writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Never mind! It only took him 30 minutes to respond. Poor guy! Some guys just have know chance!

No chance at all. Are you waiting for your Navy buddies? lol! Poor thing.

VolNExile writes:

People, people.

Go back and count the number of VolDoll's posts, and then add in the number of responses. Then compare that to the total post count for the thread. Do the same with the other trolls and sock puppets here. (Google it.)

Forums like this one are rated (partially) on the amount of traffic; in other words, the number of posts. This is one of those dreary facts of business, social media department. The more posts generated, the higher the ranking in SEO (search engine optimization.)

If you keep seeing a handful of folks (think about it; it's the same names over and over) who post provocative posts which generate a bunch of responses, what do you think is behind this?

It's all about the post count, folks. Content has nothing to do with it.

If you're tired of reading the same old drivel by the usual suspects, STOP REPLYING! Do not feed the trolls! When you do, you're just keeping the whole mess rolling along.

I've run a forum elsewhere, and I'm very familiar with trolls and their motivations. IMO, this is way more than a troll issue...

Cui bono? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cui_bono

VolNExile writes:

Meant to have quote marks around sock puppet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpupp...

mocsandvolsfan writes:

and over and over...

John_10065 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's a pretty petty statement and I include the board gremlins who want to be trolls that agree with you saying that.

It's actually a good deal for UT. They have laid out a specific set of terms that Martin has agreed to that protect the university and it's money should he put the school in a "must fire" situation regarding the NCAA.

While there isn't a "performance clause" this is a contract that leans more to the school than the coach than other schools have offered. How many times over the years have we heard about coaches getting fired for being in the trouble with the NCAA and still get paid for YEARS? It happens all the time.

How many of you morons that are complaining about his salary were also complaining about UT still paying Pearl after being fired? Well guess what? UT drew a line in the sand and said we aren't going to pay another coach if they piss of the NCAA with repeated violations.

It just goes to show two things...

1. Some of you so called fans will never be happy.

and...

2. You are a bunch of jealous pricks that complain about someone else's success and pay because you don't have it.

I doubt 3 out of 4 of you habitual complainers could even explain what blocking out the low post means.

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