Senior Editor Phillip Marshall
The issue was a clause in the contracts with Auburn’s head coaches that allowed the school to suspend a significant portion of their pay if the coach or his program were under investigation. Here is the clause that was in Chizik’s original contract:
"In the event an investigation is instituted by Auburn, the SEC or the NCAA into alleged major rules violations or significant or repetitive violations involving Coach and/or the football program, during the pendency of the investigation, University shall have the right, after written notice to Coach, to suspend payment of any amount owed to Coach under Paragraph 15 or 16. If, at the conclusion of any such investigation, it is determined by the University and the NCAA that no major rules violations occurred in connection with the football program, any payments due to Coach under Paragraph 15 and Paragraph 16 but previously suspended will be paid by University within thirty (30) days with interest at a rate equal to the Auburn University Cash Pool Earnings Rate."
Paragraphs 15 and 16 refer to Chizik’s compensation above his university salary. In his new contract, that amounts to $3 million per year. His university-paid salary is $500,000 per year.
That clause is gone from the Chizik’s new contract. It’s safe to say that, whenever Barbee finalizes his contract, it won’t be there, either.
No, it doesn’t mean Chizik was worried that he was about to have his salary put on hold. It doesn’t mean that Auburn’s program faces allegations of major violations. Coaches thought it was unfair. Really, they were right.
It is standard in every contract that a coach can be fired without further compensation if he is found to have committed major violations. But to hold back pay because of unproved allegations is a different matter.
We reported earlier that Chizik’s new contract calls for a $10 million buyout should he be fired without cause. That buyout goes down $2.5 million per year until the last year of his contract.
Chizik compensation can increase substantially with success on the field and in the classroom. Here are the incentives in his new contract:
$100,000 for 10 or more victories in a season.
$50,000 for playing in the SEC Championship Game.
$100,000 for winning the SEC Championship Game.
$50,000 for playing in a non-championship BCS bowl game.
$100,000 for winning a non-championship BCS bowl game.
$200,000 for playing in the BCS Championship Game.
$400,000 for winning the BCS Championship Game.
$25,000 for an APR score of above 930.
$50,000 for an APR score of above 950.
$75,000 for an APR score of 1,000.