What you find in a college coach's contract buyout

USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Uthman explains why head coaches are getting big pay days even after they’ve been fired.

For some football head coaches, getting fired for not winning enough games is a pretty straightforward proposition: Turn in your university property, vacate your office and collect whatever buyout money you’re owed over the time frame prescribed by your contract.

If you want to pick up some extra money by taking another job, fine. If you don’t, that’s OK too.

For many other coaches, it’s not nearly as simple.

USA TODAY Sports coaches salary database

Here are some examples of how firings can involve a lot more than cashing checks from a former employer.


Buyout provisions can come with a variety of strings attached. The most common is a duty to make a good-faith effort to find another job, with the income from that job offsetting the amount owed to the coach by the school that fired him.

But even that can get complicated.

► In exchange for continuing to get paid over…

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