Archive for Thursday, October 21, 2010

Contract favors Turner Gill

October 21, 2010


Antsy fans of Kansas University football already dreaming of a coaching change won’t like the reality of Turner Gill’s contract. It’s as one-sided in Gill’s favor as the recent outcomes have been for KU’s opponents.

If Gill were asked to leave at season’s end, the athletic department would have to come up with $8 million, within 90 days, to send him on his way. His five-year, $10 million contract does not include a buyout.

With big-time bucks already going to former coach Mark Mangino and former athletic director Lew Perkins, KU simply is not in a position to eat that kind of cash.

Not all Big 12 coaches have it so one-sided in their favor.

A review of nine other Big 12 coaches’ contracts — as a private institution Baylor is not required to release such information and the contract of Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville was not available as of Wednesday — showed that most coaches would suffer a financial penalty for terminating the contract. Texas A&M; coach Mike Sherman, for example, would owe the Aggies $1.8 million (his annual salary) for leaving before his contract expires, just as Gill did when he had to pay the University of Buffalo $200,000 for taking the job at Kansas. KU Athletics paid that. Gill’s current contract does not include such a penalty.

Of the nine contracts available for this column, six were written with language more favorable to the university than Gill’s. Not surprisingly, the University of Texas and Oklahoma University stand to save the most via buyouts should they ever elect to dump football coaches Mack Brown or Bob Stoops before the end of their contracts. In addition, Oklahoma State would save 25 percent of its contract with coach Mike Gundy should OSU can Gundy without cause and Iowa State would save nearly 50 percent if the Cyclones hand Paul Rhoads his walking papers.

Why Gill’s contract was written in such a one-sided manner is puzzling, especially given he was making less than $500,000 a year at Buffalo. Optimists would say Perkins was so convinced Gill would upgrade the football program that he did not see the need to include language that is pretty standard in college coaching contracts.

Pessimists would question the competence of KU athletics, which just went through a messy divorce with Mangino. Because there was no buyout in place, Perkins had to launch an investigation into Mangino’s coaching tactics in order to scare the coach into thinking KU could fire him with cause. That put Mangino in the mood to negotiate and led to a $3 million settlement.

Burned once by not having a buyout clause, wouldn’t you think KU officials would’ve learned from their mistake and made sure to include one for Gill?

There’s a lot more than Gill’s salary to consider when talking about something as serious as firing a man who has not yet been given a fair chance to prove he’s a Big 12-caliber head coach. For one, he hasn’t been able to recruit players who fit his style. For another, Gill’s assistants make a combined salary of more than $2 million annually. Those are guaranteed for two years apiece, three in the cases of coordinators Chuck Long and Carl Torbush, who each make $350,000 a year.


TopJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

This is premature. You gotta give the guy a chance.

Robert Rauktis 7 years, 5 months ago

Lew Perkins was shrewd. Unfortunately he wasn't playing on KU's team. The football yokels get what they deserve.

kujayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Either Lew got really lazy or he was just clueless on how to do anything outside of raising money and wasting money.

grimpeur 7 years, 5 months ago

From the article: "With big-time bucks already going to former coach Mark Mangino and former athletic director Lew Perkins, KU simply is not in a position to eat that kind of cash."

And why, exactly, would KU have to come up with the money? Let Kansas Athletics, Inc., handle it. After all, KAI--the sports corporation--was set up to deny KU--the University--control of money and decision-making so that KAI could spend lavishly on football palaces and unneeded fields for a losing team.

Matt Tait, could you clarify this? Is this an error, or would KU in fact be expected to bail out KAI? More detailed information on this arrangement, please.

Kontum1972 7 years, 5 months ago

folks thats way too much money for some stupid game....Gill, give some of that to the homeless on Mass street....LoL....that ought to clear up that problem.

brett conrad 7 years, 5 months ago

The sad truth is after winning the ORANGE BOWL and a 12-1 season 3 years ago, we will not see better than a 6-6 season with the way the BIG 12 sets up now for 5 years maybe closer to 10. Thanks Lew for blowing a great opportunity. You and YOUR staff could not handle success and now we cannot afford to correct your mistakes.

Graczyk 7 years, 5 months ago

Gill's contract was a strategic move. It pretty much guaranteeds that he wouldn't be run out of town (baring any improper actions on Gill's part) for a period of 4-5 years. That is enough for Gill to work his program and see what happens. Since Gill was a controversial hire, this clause (or lack thereof) ensures that Gill will be given the right amount of time to be fairly evaluated.

Suppositions that Perkins was short-sighted, lazy, or incompetent are off the mark. (I'm not a Perkins fan, BTW.)

puddleglum 7 years, 5 months ago

Perkins obviously 'hooked up' his pal Gill with a ridiculous contract.

get it over with, can him.

Only then can we move on to look forward.

how many empty seats in memorial stadium from here on out?

I'm guessing it will be as empty as gill's playbook.

Hire Mike Leach now, please.

brett conrad 7 years, 5 months ago

What was short-sighted, lazy and imcompetent was paying a guy making 350,000 dollars and giving him 2 million with no buyout.

Graczyk 7 years, 5 months ago

The money that Gill is getting is less about Gill and more about KU's commitment to football. You have to take the long view.

brett conrad 7 years, 5 months ago

Throwing money at a proven winner with quality experience is a commitment not a nice guy with a losing record. I don't like Gill's odds of winning 4 out of 9 conference games every year just to go to a bowl thats assuming he can beat 3 cupcakes early, hopefully we don't schedule N D ST.

oldvet 7 years, 5 months ago

It might not cost $8 mil... just assign him to a cube in the athletic dept with a do-nothing job... He will be away from coaching and will soon quit, thus he gets no further payout... would he just sit there for the four years and collect $2 mil per, you might ask... yes, he could do that, but then he has nothing to put on a resume for his next job... he would leave within the first year or so for some other coaching position...

If he is so great, why did his alma mater, Nebraska, pass on him when they were looking for a new head coach?

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