Report: Auburn to pay departing school president seven-figure sum, more than double salary
College football fans envy the men who are paid handsomely to simply stop coaching football. We see it all the time – coaches are paid millions of dollars to have their contracts bought out so that the school’s athletic department can hire a new coach who will right the ship. It looks like “fired school president” might be an even better gig than “fired head coach” in terms of being paid to stop doing your job.
The Opelika-Auburn News obtained documents detailing the financial agreement tied to school president Dr. Steven Leath’s departure, which the two parties had described as a mutual parting in last month’s announcement. Justin Lee reports that Leath will be paid more than double what he would have made on salary.
In June 2017, Leath signed a five-year contract with Auburn offering him $625,000 per year in salary.
Now after two years, Leath is leaving — and making $1.5 million per year to not be Auburn’s president.
The first $1.5 million payment was made on July 1. He will receive the same amount on July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, per the report. The contract was set to expire in June 2022.
What impact, if any, the change in university leadership has on AU athletics remains to be seen.