Auburn’s Gene Chizik bumped to $3.5 million/year

June 11, 2011


— Auburn’s Gene Chizik has received a new contract nearly doubling his salary and making him one of college football’s highest paid coaches.

Auburn announced the deal Friday, and it’s worth $3.5 million a year through 2015, with incentives that could tack on another $1 million. Chizik was rewarded for leading the Tigers to their first national title since 1957 in just his second season.

He made $2.1 million in salary last season, but received another $1.3 million in bonuses following the 14-0 season.

“We believe that we have the best coach in college football,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. “More importantly, coach Chizik is a great mentor to our student-athletes, he represents Auburn with class and integrity in all that he does, and he is an outstanding ambassador for Auburn University.”

The final two months of the season were played under a cloud of controversy involving Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton’s recruitment and his father’s pay-for-play solicitations at Mississippi State. The NCAA is still investigating, but reinstated Newton after a brief weekday suspension before the SEC title game. The NCAA stated there was no evidence at the time that the junior-college transfer knew about the scheme or that Auburn was guilty of any wrongdoing.

The hefty raise still doesn’t quite push Chizik up into Nick Saban territory, but does make him the SEC’s fourth-highest paid head coach. The Alabama coach’s deal is worth $4.7 million annually counting completion bonuses.

LSU’s Les Miles received a seven-year deal in January worth $3.75 million a year. In December, Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino got a seven-year deal worth $3.56 million a year.

College football

Stewart out, Holgorsen in at WVU

Morgantown, W.Va. — Dana Holgorsen has been introduced as West Virginia’s head football coach hours after Bill Stewart resigned.

Athletic director Oliver Luck didn’t address specific reasons for Stewart’s resignation at a news conference Friday night. But Luck says recent developments had become a distraction.

An intoxicated Holgorsen was escorted out of a casino last month. More recently, a reporter said Stewart had approached him shortly after Holgorsen’s hiring to “dig up” dirt on his eventual successor.

NCAA, Boise State meet

Indianapolis — Boise State met with the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Friday to discuss violations by its highly successful football program and other sports.

The football violations under review were committed between 2005 and 2008. The program already is dealing with several self-imposed penalties, including fewer scholarships for the next two years and reduced practice time.

Report ties Pryor to businessman

Columbus, Ohio — The relationship between former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and a photographer and businessman who allegedly gave him money for signed memorabilia goes back to at least 2008, ESPN reported Friday.

Pryor announced Tuesday he would give up his senior season with the Buckeyes in the midst of an NCAA investigation that already has led to a five-game suspension for him.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported a new allegation earlier this week that Pryor was paid $500 to $1,000 each time he signed mini football helmets and other gear for Dennis Talbott, a Columbus businessman and freelance photographer.


Karlsson leads St. Jude

Memphis, Tenn. — Robert Karlsson shot a 5-under 65 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the St. Jude Classic.

Colt Knost (68) and Keegan Bradley (67) were tied for second.

Kim keeps LPGA lead

Springfield, Ill. — Mindy Kim maintained her two-stroke lead in the LPGA State Farm Classic, following her opening career-low 64 with a 5-under 67 to reach 13 under. Top-ranked Yani Tseng (66) and Shanshan Feng (65) were tied for second.

Tway early Champions leader

Conover, N.C. — Bob Tway birdied the 18th hole for a 9-under 63 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour’s Greater Hickory Classic.


Five teams talk about L.A. move

Los Angeles — The head of the sports and entertainment firm that wants to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles has been in talks with officials from five teams about the proposed venue, a company official said Friday.

Anschutz Entertainment Group President and CEO Tim Leiweke has spoken with representatives from the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, company spokesman Michael Roth told the Associated Press.


Mexico: Beef not to blame

Mexico City — The Mexican government said Friday its beef doesn’t contain clenbuterol, hurting the defense of five soccer players suspended after testing positive for the banned substance.

Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Francisco Rodriguez and Edgar Duenas, and midfielders Christian Bermudez and Antonio Naelson “Sinha” were removed from El Tri’s Gold Cup team Thursday after the Mexican soccer federation said they tested positive for clenbuterol.


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