Arkansas Razorback Foundation countersues Bret Bielema, claim Patriots salary was kept purposely low
There’s a new development in the ongoing legal battle between Arkansas’ Razorback Foundation and former Hogs head coach Bret Bielema. According to a new report from Sportico, the Razorback Foundation is now countersuing Bielema.
Earlier this year, Bielema sued the Razorback Foundation, which pays Arkansas’ coaches salaries and buyouts, claiming he was still owed $7 million of his buyout. The Foundation is now countersuing over the mitigation clause in Bielema’s contract.
As Sportico details, the mitigation clause stated Bielema had to use “best efforts” to land another job (what kind of job was not specified) and to then “negotiate a maximum salary” for that new job. The Foundation’s buyout payments could then be offset by Bielema’s salary over certain thresholds. The buyout agreement stated Bielema could earn up to $150,000 in 2018, $125,000 in 2019 and $100,000 in 2020 without those earnings offsetting the amount owed by the Foundation.
Bielema’s agent, Neil Cornrich, is listed as a defendant in the countersuit. Per Sportico, The Foundation “asserts that Cornrich conspired with Bielema to orchestrate a ‘scheme’ that worked to the Patriots’ advantage.” The report details that the Patriots paid Bielema $25,000 as a draft consultant when he was first hired by the team. Bielema was then made a special assistant to Belichick, making $100,000. A year later, Bielema was made an on-field assistant coach and paid a salary of $250,000. The Foundation argues Bielema was paid below market value. Cornrich also represents Bill Belichick.
Bielema is now a New York Giants assistant after his time with the Patriots.