Decision to stop Bret Bielema buyout payments could save Arkansas millions
If you don’t know by now, paying coaches to go away has become a big issue in college athletics. Based on some contracts, it would cost more to fire a coach and pay him to do nothing than it would to keep him around.
Despite these massive buyout figures, coaches like Bret Bielema and Butch Jones are still being dismissed at incredible costs to their former employers. However, along with the massive buyout figures in these coaches’ contracts are agreements stating that they must seek employment opportunities that would offset the buyout figures.
If these coaches cannot find jobs comparable to the ones they lost, they are permitted to continue to receive buyout checks. That’s where the grey area begins as Bielema is being paid only $50,000 to coach the defensive line for the New England Patriots and Butch Jones is being paid $35,000 to serve as an intern/analyst at Alabama.
Those low salaries ensure that each coach continues to receive massive buyout checks every month.
Once the Razorback Foundation, the organization charged with sending Bielema his buyout payments, discovered Bielema’s low salary to coach the Patriots defensive line, they stopped sending the checks back in May. If you didn’t know, while NFL coaching salaries vary based on many factors, position coaches in the league typically make several hundred thousand to a million dollars per season.
Considering Bielema is only making $50,000, that suggests the coach was willing to be paid little by the Patriots in order to keep receiving buyout checks from Arkansas. If you were unaware, Bielema’s monthly buyout figure was $320,833.33. The coach was scheduled to receive that much every month until h received $11,935,000 total from Arkansas.
According to Wally Hall of WholeHogSports.com, the decision by the Razorback Foundation to stop paying Bielema will save Arkansas more than $7 million.
That’s a massive figure, all things considered in Fayetteville, as the team is currently struggling on the field. The road to the poor results of the Chad Morris era were laid in place thanks in part to what Bielema left behind and the program has been affecting in terms of fan attendance in the seasons since Bielema’s departure.
There’s likely going to be a legal battle following this decision and it will be interesting to see what happens next, as coaches and schools around the SEC and the nation will certainly be keeping an eye on what happens with this dispute and what it could mean for the future of buyout payments.