This time of year is usually interesting from a college football coach perspective. Most teams that intend to fire their coach have done so and are now in the coaching market. Of course once those hires are made that creates additional openings for others. There seem to be a lot of vacancies for very good programs this year with many in the South Eastern Conference. The thing about these jobs is most of these coaches have a buyout provision in their contract – meaning they get paid by the university if they get fired! What a deal.
Texas A&M fired its coach, Kevin Sumlin, yesterday afternoon. According to reports, Sumlin gets paid $10 million for being fired. Not too bad. Some of these buyout provisions contain offset provisions where if the coach goes on to coach somewhere else in the same year the school that fires them gets a credit for the buyout and pays less. It all comes down to what the coach can negotiate. Rumor has it Sumlin will wind up coaching somewhere else so he’ll get $10 million + his new contract. Not a horrible proposition from a financial standpoint.
The reasons these coaches are able to negotiate such great deals is because they are limited commodity – supply and demand. Plus, there is an overall frenzy right now that defies common sense. It’s hard to feel too bad for the universities. They are making millions of dollars off of these coaches and more importantly players they don’t pay. But that’s for another discussion.
Here’s a link to some interesting college coach contractual clauses. My favorite is my Alma Mater’s coach’s tuition clause. All of his children get to go to the University of Utah for free. His grandchildren and great grandchildren only have to pay half in-state tuition. The only stipulation is you have to be under the age of 26 and not married so no professional students.