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FOIA triumphs again as coaches’ contracts go public

chizik spring finger
Gene Chizik, illustrating how many swimming pools he's going to build if his team makes a bowl.

Like dandelions in a sidewalk crack, the Freedom of Information Act always wins out in the end. And so even though I’m sure the Chiznick would rather coach practice in drag than have the whole world examining the details of his salary, his and his staff’s contracts are now a matter of public record. More here and here.

I don’t think there’s anything earth-shattering here, but a few reactions for the record regardless:

— As expected, the contract for the coach upgrading his job despite overseeing a 5-19 disaster at his previous job is more friendly to the coach’s employer than the coach. Realistically, for Chizik to make even $2 million– of half of his counterpart across the state’s salary–he’s going to have to turn in a 950 APR and a bowl season. Doable, certainly, but I’m not sure how much else is this particular season.

— One other incentive Chizik can reasonably shoot for: SEC Coach of the Year. It usually goes to coaches who merely exceed expectations rather than claim championships, so it’s conceivable that just an 8-4 record with a win over fellow potentially-appealing candidate Lane Kiffin might do it. Not likely, but conceivable.

— In addition to the relatively low base salary and “earn it” incentive structure, Chizik’s negotiating strength (or lack thereof) is reflected in the buyout, which at $500K a year and declining is just the tiniest bit shy of his predecessor’s arrangement.

— Yes, I am glad to see academic concerns reflected in the incentive pile. Equating a 950 APR and 10 wins seems about right.

— Conventional wisdom is that Trooper Taylor’s wider profile and “Assistant Head Coach” titles mean he’s a shade higher in the Auburn assistant pecking order than the other position coaches, and sure enough, he’s the only non-coordinator on staff with a three-year deal. (He’s also the top-paid position coach, but I think we knew that already, as we did the interesting factoid that Rocker comes next, ahead of Luper.)

— From the Brietzke post: what does “Discretionary bonuses available as decided by the university” mean?

— Unless Auburn has one hell of a year, the $2.56 million in total salaries for the Tiger assistants are going to well outpace Chizik’s earnings. Tate’s got the list of SEC head coaching salaries, but a similar list of total assistant salaries–and how they compare with the head coach’s–would be interesting. Even if we know which team would top that particular list.

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