With Compensation Packages In The Millions It Pays Almost As Much to Lose As It Does To Win
The pressure to win in the SEC is intense. A Tennessee fan once sent a moving van to a coach’s house and someone threw a brick at Bill Curry when he was at Alabama – while Curry was sitting in his office!
But if you don’t win, then things are not all that bad if you’re a football coach.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt is on the hottest seat in the SEC every year because his Bulldogs recruit well, enter the season with promise, then fail to live up to expectations. Yet he just signed a contract extension. And if he gets let go after this year, he will pocked $4.8 million. Should he last the season – and the Bulldogs are a favorite to win the SEC East – but be fired the next, he will walk away with $2.4 million.
Hard to cry foul with that type of compensation.
But that’s only the tip of the football for some coaches. Had Les Miles been fired after the 2010 season – and there were some who wanted that to happen, at least until the Bengal Tigers upset Alabama in Baton Rouge – the school would have owed him $15 million. That’s no typo – $15 million!
When Tennessee showed Phil Fulmer the door – a pretty large one for the Big Pumpkin to fit through – in 2008, it paid him $6 million. Auburn gave Tommy Tuberville $5.1 million to “resign” just a month later.
Even Mississippi State paid Sylvester Coom $3.5 million to “resign.”
The coach who has this system down the best is Houston Nutt. He collected $3.5 million from Arkansas, landed at Ole Miss, then got another $6 million from Colonel Rebel last year.
In the SEC, it pays almost as much not to win as it does to win.