Eee… yeah, this take didn’t age well ($$).
“For now, the days of buying out coaches’ contracts like drunken sailors are gone,” one Division I athletic director said in April on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely.
So, about that …
Gus Malzahn walked away from Auburn with more than $21 million guaranteed. Texas paid almost $25 million to buy out Tom Herman and his staff a few months after layoffs and furloughs. South Carolina paid Will Muschamp $12.9 million to go away. Even Arizona, a month after laying off 21 employees, agreed to pay Kevin Sumlin’s $7.5 million buyout (subject to offset).
Unless, by “for now”, Mr. Anonymous AD only meant until the end of April.
Truth of the matter is, at least in the upper reaches of D-1 football, pandemic or no pandemic, there’s still a sea of cash to pay coaches with, and enough ADs who lack the ability to formulate a plan much beyond give Jimmy Sexton what he’s asking for. Here’s another example:
Here’s a quote from a college coach a few years back:
“Every college coach I talk to won’t say it on record, but everyone’s thinking, ‘Should I go to the league?’”
That was Kirby Smart in 2015, when he was Alabama’s defensive coordinator, speaking to 680 The Fan in Atlanta. Smart said the grind of recruiting had become non-stop with phones. He was right then and it’s still true now. The job does not stop, and assistants have to handle recruiting much more than head coaches.
So why haven’t they followed Kirby’s lead? (Hell, why didn’t Kirby follow Kirby’s lead?) You only get one guess.
But the money has increased as well. At the top of the Power 5, college coaches are making as much money or more than NFL coaches.
And so it goes.