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#pounditWednesday, February 8, 2023

Eye-popping amount has been spent on college football coach buyouts

Ed Orgeron during a game

Several head coaches have been fired by top college football programs this season, and many of those dismissals have been quite costly. For the sport as a whole, the collective buyout amount is pushing toward a whopping nine figures.

Manny Diaz was officially fired by Miami on Monday, paving the way for the Hurricanes to hire Mario Cristobal away from Oregon. As Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated notes, Diaz’s buyout with Miami was valued at an estimated $4 million. You can add that amount to a nationwide total that is closing in on $100 million.

That’s an eye-popping figure, but it proves how deep the pockets are that are backing some of these programs. Coaches are under more pressure than ever to produce results quickly. Buyouts are supposed to discourage schools from firing coaches too quickly, but many programs have shown a willingness to eat the money in order to make a big change if things don’t work out in a few years or less.

Take LSU and USC, for example. Ed Orgeron’s buyout at LSU was $17 million. USC had to pay Clay Helton $10 million. The schools then shelled out roughly $100 million each when they hired Brian Kelly and Lincoln Riley, respectively. Money is basically no object, which shows you how much top schools are making from their football programs.

Photo: Sep 11, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron looks on during the first half against McNeese State Cowboys at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports


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