A fool of a program and its money are soon parted.

What is it with Auburn and football coaches’ buyouts?

It happened with Tommy Tuberville, who resigned under pressure in 2008. Auburn had to pay him $5.1 million not to coach.

It happened with Gene Chizik, who was fired in 2012. Auburn is still paying him the balance of the $7.5 million it’s contractually obligated to pay him not to coach.

… Should things take an unexpected and drastic turn for the worst during his tenure – which is Auburn Football History 101 – Malzahn’s buyout is $2,237,500 for each year remaining on his six-year deal. Let’s break it down by year on how much the school would owe him if it fires him after the following seasons:

2014: $11,187,500.
2015: $8,950,000.
2016: $6,712,500.
2017: $4,475,000.
2018: $2,237,500.

Here’s what makes that truly remarkable:

… No Auburn coach since Shug Jordan retired in 1975 has left to take another job. Every Auburn coach since Jordan retired was either fired or resigned under pressure.

It happened to Doug Barfield, Pat Dye, Terry Bowden, Tuberville and Chizik. It happened to Dye, Bowden, Tuberville and Chizik even though each of them experienced some incredible success, the kind that led to SEC West, SEC and/or BCS championships.

That’s almost pathological.

And just remember the next time somebody tries to insist there isn’t enough money in the system for something… they lyin’.



Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

18 responses to “A fool of a program and its money are soon parted.

  1. Derek

    It’s not a buy out. It’s hush money.


  2. Bulldog Joe

    Hush money does not come cheap.


  3. That’s almost pathological.

    It IS pathological.

    And their core fans, many of them, are pathologically illusional. The worst ones are more eaten up with it than all but a very few Alabama fans. And that’s saying something.


  4. Gatriguy

    In the case of Tater Tot, it ABSOLUTELY was hush money–it was specifically written in his settlement that he could not speak about either his time at Auburn in general, or Bobby Lowder specifically.


  5. uglydawg

    So has Auburn had to do without anything nice, that a more $ responsible program such as UGA has, because of the added expenses? Has it prompted austerity or suffering? There MUST be a negative consequense in play…or does money grow on trees in Lower Alabama? Some program, somewhere at Auburn had to suffer the monetary consequenses of this kind of bleeding.


    • Bulldog Joe

      Auburn’s football success is raking in the money for the university.

      Auburn’s Athletic Department grew their revenues 85% between 2005 and 2012. For perspective, Georgia’s grew only 33%.

      They can afford it.


      • Mayor

        Auburn won 1 BCSNC and played for another during that period, also winning 2 SEC Championships as well.


  6. AthensHomerDawg

    I will see you Auburn Tom Foolery and raise you one Tennessee.
    “The university would owe Dooley $5 million, or roughly $102,040 per month, through December 2016. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney would be owed about $645,000, spread over monthly payments through December 2013.

    That money is guaranteed, meaning any future employment wouldn’t affect their payouts from Tennessee.”


    • Bulldog Joe

      Tennessee’s Athletics Department revenues are almost $8M more than Auburn’s.

      They can afford it too.


      • AthensHomerDawg

        I can’t keep up.

        First, and most obviously, is that successful teams generate a positive operating income for a school’s athletic department. Football is ordinarily an athletic department’s biggest revenue driver, and that income is required to support non-revenue sports like golf and swimming. If a team is profitable enough to cover those costs and still put its athletic department in the black, then revenue can be directed back to the parent university to support academic programming.

        This is particularly true for the top SEC schools. Florida led the way last year, contributing $7.2 million to academic programming, with $1.5 million of that earmarked for non-athletic scholarships. Alabama wasn’t far behind, providing nearly $6.5 million to the university to help pay for scholarships, faculty support and the school’s Acts of Kindness fund. Other big donors were Ohio State ($5 million) and Georgia ($4 million).

        In fact, Tennessee took the biggest fall on our list, down 25% to $63 million, because its academic contributions were significantly curtailed last year. Firing former head coach Derek Dooley turned out to be an expensive affair, and his staff’s buyout costs forced the Tennessee athletic department to stabilize its other expenses. As a result, Volunteers athletics went from being one of the nation’s biggest academic supporters, regularly contributing over $6 million annually, to providing just $1.3 million last year.


        • Bulldog Joe

          Academic contributions are a small percentage of the total athletic budget, unless you count the UGAA’s $30M-plus “investment” in the UGA foundation two years ago.

          A better measure can be found here:

          Tennessee and Auburn have grown their athletic contributions significantly since 2005, while Georgia’s athletic contributions have been flat. Also ticket revenue is significantly higher at Tennessee and Auburn because they play more home games and charge more for tickets.

          Net/net is they have more money to burn each year.


  7. South FL Dawg

    What you are pointing out will be someone else’s problem. See how it works?


  8. Mr. Sanchez

    This does kind of shoot a hole in the theory people kept trotting out there that firing a good coach means you are doomed to failure and can’t succeed under the successor of said good/great coach.


    • Dog in Fla

      Trading Chiz for Malzahn was a stroke of good luck for them as predicted by Bluto at the the time of the trade.