Massive buyout may have contributed to USC keeping Clay Helton
USC on Sunday announced a somewhat surprising decision to commit to head coach Clay Helton heading into 2019, and one of the reasons for that could be very straightforward.
Prior to the 2018 season, USC signed Helton to a contract extension through 2023. Believing he was their man after Helton went 21-6 in two seasons between 2016 and 2017, the Trojans had no problem including a big buyout clause in the coach’s new deal. How big? Around $15 million, according to reports.
If Clay Helton’s buyout is around $15 million, which I’ve heard from multiple people, there’s a bigger problem with the USC athletic department than a bad football coach. We’re talking about an interim coach who had never been a head coach before and was in Memphis for a decade.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 25, 2018
While a 5-7 season certainly does not live up to USC standards, a $15 million buyout clause would be one of the most expensive in college football. Although, another coach who could be owed around that much was recently fired, so USC could certainly afford it if they had no faith in Helton.
We already know how fans feel about USC giving Helton another shot, but school administrators obviously believe he can improve upon a 5-7 record. If he doesn’t, he probably won’t survive the 2019 season.