The University of Florida has hired Jim McElwain to be its new head football coach. But they had to get creative to get the deal done and it could have a lasting impact on how big schools poach coaches from smaller universities.
McElwain had just signed an extension with Colorado State in August. That contract included a major hurdle for the University of Florida, a hefty $US7.5 million buyout.
According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, the University of Florida thought there was an agreement between McElwain and Colorado State to reduce the buyout. However, after Florida targeted McElwain, the Colorado State president refused to give Florida a discount.
This put any potential deal on hold until Florida got creative.
According to Terry Frei of the Denver Post, the two sides eventually agreed to a $US5 million buyout. In addition, Florida has agreed to schedule a game against Colorado State in the future that will include a $US2 million payday for the school.
In addition to reducing the value of the overall value of the buyout by $US500,000, the University of Florida also only has to pay $US5 million up front and they will save about $US1 million in the future as they now have one less date to fill on their schedule and would have likely paid close to $US1 million to another school anyway.
In exchange, Colorado State gets the majority of the buyout along with a high profile game against a national powerhouse football program.
One of the big criticisms of college sports and the NCAA is that players have to sit out a season if they transfer but coaches are free to up and leave for other jobs with the only compensation being a buyout that is a drop in the bucket for larger schools.
This type of deal at least softens the blow for the smaller school and saves the bigger school some money all while the fans get a non-conference game with a compelling storyline.
So everybody wins.
Chances are this type of deal will become the norm in the future as schools look for the perfect coach to lead them to the promised land of college football playoff millions.
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