COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Arkansas football coach gets $12M over 3 years in buyout

Fired head football coach Bret Bielema will receive up to nearly $12 million over three years in a buyout agreement.

Bielema, 48, was fired after going 4-8 this season. His overall record at Arkansas was 29-34 and he was 11-29 in SEC games. Overall, Bielema has a 97-58 record as head coach. He went 68-24 at Wisconsin (2006-12).

The Razorback Foundation, the nonprofit that raises money to support University of Arkansas athletics, announced Bielema could be paid up to $11.935 million in monthly payments from last Nov. 25, when he was fired through Dec. 31, 2020, subject to mitigation by his future earnings, both athletic and non-athletic.

Even if he lands another coaching job, the foundation will be liable for a minimum payment each year, currently $150,000. Bielema has said he's had some talks with potential employers, but is not currently employed. But he's made some TV appearances and compensation for that would appear to be among the offsets anticipated in the deal.

The Foundation had guaranteed Bielema's pay for four years, including salary and speaking fees. The $11.935 payment represents the value of what he'd have been paid for the 37 months and one week remaining on his employment agreement. I predicted such a settlement in writing about the firing earlier. ESPN had put the amount at $11.8 million immediately after is firing following a Razorback loss in the last game of the season, when the Hogs were 4-8. He'll get $320,833.33 per month before any reductions for earnings.

The Razorback Foundation said it was pleased to complete the agreement that "honors our organization's legal commitment to Coach Bielema while ensuring that the Razorback Foundation's right to offset is protected." Scott Varady, director of the Foundation said he was appreciative of the way Bielema and his representatives conducted the negotiations. He thanked Bielema and wished him well.

A prepared statement from Bielema likewise thank the Foundation and wished the Razorbacks well. "Having completed this agreement, I am pleased to move forward in my career and am excited about the future," Bielema said in the press release.

The Foundation released a copy of the agreement on payments and various waivers for public inspection. "Both parties worked in good faith to complete this agreement," Razorback Foundation executive director Scott Varady said in the press release.

Bielema is rwquired to report every six months on his efforts to find work. It requires an offset of payments for just about all types of income except passive investments and it guarantees an annual amount that would not be offset by income: $150,000 in 2017 and 2018, $125,000 in 2019 and $100,000 in 2020. The agreement calls for annual meetings to square accounts on what's owed.

The parties agree not to disparage each other. Each party is responsible for its own attorney fees.

D1SportsNet



January 31, 2018

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