Northwest Nazarene College officials have been putting together a financial package to compensate former assistant basketball coach Norm Parrish, fired last week because he was an active Mormon.

"This is no way intended to be a buyoff," President Gordon Wetmore said. "We hired him for the year and no doubt would like to pay him for the year."Parrish, 25, who had played two years of basketball at the college run by the Nazarene Church before taking the assistant coach's job four months ago, was dismissed because his religious beliefs did not adhere to the Nazarene Church's doctrine and discipline.

Parrish has said he has discussed the situation with an attorney, but no legal action has been taken.

Head basketball coach Garry Matlock, upset over what he said was Parrish's unfair firing, said he would stay on at the school.

The dismissal followed a local newspaper column that mentioned that Parrish was also teaching at the local seminary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That information generated outside pressure to dismiss Parrish that Wetmore has conceded brought the issue to a head.