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Ohio State releases Urban’s contract particulars

Ohio State Introduces Urban Meyer Getty Images

Six months after Urban Meyer‘s hiring as the permanent replacement for Jim Tressel, Ohio State has released the details of the new head coach’s contract.

And, not so surprisingly, there are safeguards built into the deal that would protect Meyer if any past NCAA issues surface in the future.

As had previously been released, Meyer’s multi-year deal will average in the neighborhood of $4.4 million, which would make him the third-highest-paid head coach in the country behind Texas’ Mack Brown and Alabama’s Nick Saban.  Including in that average annual compensation package is a signing bonus as well as retention bonuses — payable in 2014, 2016 and 2018 — that will total $2.4 million.

Meyer will also be eligible to receive bonuses for winning the Leaders Division ($50,000) and Big Ten championship game ($100,000); qualifying for a BcS bowl game ($150,000); and appearing in a national title game ($250,000).

Despite the fact that Ohio State is ineligible for the postseason in 2012 due to NCAA sanctions, Meyer will still be able to collect on those bonuses if certain conditions are met.

Additionally, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, Meyer’s attorneys had language built into the contract that would protect the coach if more NCAA violations from the past come to light.  If such a thing were to occur, Meyer would be free to walk away from the OSU job and receive $1.5 million per year remaining on his contract.

We’re very confident we have no issues,” OSU athletic director Gene Smith told the Plain Dealer regarding the NCAA language written into the contract. “We scrubbed everything very hard, so when his attorneys asked for that, we felt comfortable doing that.”

Thanks to the situation that led to Tressel’s dismissal/resignation/retirement — Tressel knowing of potential NCAA violations committed by a handful of players and keeping it from his bosses — Ohio State also included provisions in the deal that would protect the university on the off-chance that Meyer goes all Vest on NCAA violations.

Section 5.1b of the contract, under termination, specifies one cause for termination. It deals with a “significant or repetitive or intentional violation” as determined by Ohio State, by Meyer or anyone under his supervision, including players, that Meyer knew about or “should have (in Ohio State’s determination) reasonably known about.”

So if a player is breaking NCAA rules, and Meyer knows it or should know it, Ohio State will hold him responsible. Tressel’s troubles started when he became aware of NCAA violations committed by some of his players and he did not tell Ohio State about them.

“We talked to our attorneys and our compliance office and added a few more things in there,” Smith said. “Considering the circumstances, we felt it was appropriate that we do that. It was more of a safeguard than anything.”

In addition to on-field performance, Meyer also stands to gain financially from his players performing well in the classroom, with bonuses for cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 ($50,000), 3.3 ($100,000) and 3.5 ($150,000) built into the contract.

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19 Responses to “Ohio State releases Urban’s contract particulars”
  1. webfootking says: Jun 18, 2012 1:51 PM

    I wonder how much Urban gets for each secondary violation considering AD Smith considers those a part of the job description.

  2. woebegong says: Jun 18, 2012 1:55 PM

    He can’t be fired for previous NCAA violations. Are they talking about the ones OSU committed before he got there, or the ones he committed while at Florida that are yet to be discovered at both schools?

  3. dapell says: Jun 18, 2012 1:58 PM

    So they have a $1.5M/yr incentive to make sure they continue to hide, obstruct, and not investigate all of the shenanigans that went on under Tressel? How can the NCAA not see this for what it is?

    Carry on people, nothing to see here.

  4. bigjdve says: Jun 18, 2012 2:29 PM

    I like the bonuses for academic achievement. While I don’t think that he will get them, I hope that he meets every one of them.

  5. outlawjerseywhales says: Jun 18, 2012 3:18 PM

    “And, not so surprisingly, there are safeguards built into the deal that would protect Meyer if any past NCAA issues surface in the future.”
    Especially those of his own making!

  6. thefiesty1 says: Jun 18, 2012 6:09 PM

    One of these days we’ll be talking about REAL money. Nobody is worth that kind of money.

  7. 10of14 says: Jun 18, 2012 9:02 PM

    Academic achievement??? That should not be “liked” it should be a requirement by the NCAA. Interesting with his reputation that his personal issues with a “wondering eye and things” aren’t in this contract.

  8. zurnvs says: Jun 18, 2012 9:40 PM

    Gene Smith & Gordon Gee should be fired & yes I’m a Buckeye. Yes, everyone is dirty, but we got caught, TAKE THE PAIN.

  9. mtheparrothead says: Jun 18, 2012 9:49 PM

    And all the tattoos you want as a rider!

  10. southernpatriots says: Jun 19, 2012 12:21 AM


    Kudos! We wish you some of our genuine Dark Chocolate Buckeyes made from homemade all organic peanut butter! You are a real Buckeye fan.

    My team and I are currently visiting a young lady at the Cleveland Clinic and enjoying great Buckeye hospitality!

  11. dkhhuey says: Jun 19, 2012 10:57 AM

    Ah – so much love for the Buckeyes!! Can’t wait until the season starts to watch Urban rip through the Big 10!!! Gonna be a joy.

  12. southernpatriots says: Jun 19, 2012 11:38 AM


    With the new recruits, new training regiment, and new spirit…I would not doubt what you posted. We should know something the first “trial’ games of the season and especially after the first B1G game.

    I am going to try to time a scheduled trip back to Cleveland Clinic so I can take in one of those important home B1G games this season.

    Which one would you recommend for the biggest bang?

  13. seamus0317 says: Jun 19, 2012 2:42 PM

    It won’t be long until the Urban Myth gets caught. He is just another snake oil salesman.

  14. 10of14 says: Jun 19, 2012 10:09 PM

    Wondering eye…I digress. To the poster who called them “trial games” get serious. That is JV stuff. However, it is not unheard of considering the polls. If you beat Lourdes College of Ohio by 70, you get notice. If you schedule and lose to a respectable, not great…say….Tulsa, you drop 15 spots and get grilled. While I diss the Buckeye “trial schedule” (he,he), they have it right for polls sake. Gosh ND, what the hell are you thinking.

  15. dkhhuey says: Jun 22, 2012 3:07 PM

    @southernpats – Obviously I will say the last game, Nov. 24th, against Michigan would be by far the best game to experience – there is simply nothing like it!!! I’m trying to get my hands on a couple of tickets myself!

    If not, I would say the game against Nebraska would be an awesome game as well! That one is on Oct. 6th.

    I’d say Purdue, Oct. 20th would be next followed by Illinois… the opening 4 games should be quite the blowouts but hey, you’re in one of the greatest college football venues surrounded by 105,000 crazy Buckeye fans – it will still be a blast!!!

  16. dkhhuey says: Jun 22, 2012 3:09 PM

    @seamus – get caught doing what? You acts as though the guy has been violating NCAA rules all of his career. Sorry to burst your hate filled bubble but that is not even close to being a true statement.

  17. southernpatriots says: Jun 22, 2012 5:49 PM

    dkhhuey: Thank you for keeping your monitoring up on this thread. I was sure hoping you would and would respond.

    Before posting I checked on “visitor’s tickets” and some remain available for both games. You may not be able to obtain tickets for the Buckeye section easily at this point, unless someone just wants to release their treasured tickets. It is the same for LSU. We can’t get any more tickets to the Tiger section but can get them in great seats for the visitor’s sections so friends and family will be separated from us during the game…ha.

    I understand your picks, appreciate you and them, and I think they are great. We will try for them in the order you listed them, trying to coordinate a trip to Cleveland Clinic at the same time or the day before, but I can’t thank you enough for those picks. It helps me know and focus my efforts. I will be departing Cleveland Clinic tomorrow for Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, hopefully an uneventful flight. Last flight we had we ran into great turbulence and the pilot could not fly high enough or low enough to avoid it so we all just about gave up our lunch before it was over….ha.

  18. dkhhuey says: Jun 24, 2012 12:13 AM

    @southern – there are always tickets available – it is just a matter of how much! I think you’ll have a great experience no matter what game you get to see, but The Game is just amazing to take in!!! The electricity, the tradition, the excitement is just so over the top and is something that is hard to beat. I am looking forward to hearing about it!

  19. southernpatriots says: Jun 24, 2012 10:03 AM


    The flight to LA was smooth. I sat next to a father who was flying out to visit his daughter who is a CF child being considered for a double lung transplant at Cedars-Sinai. I was able to share much about this experience as I have walked with many children and their parents on this path.

    The game with Michigan sounds like the kind of game I would really enjoy. Ohio State is not “officially” offering tickets any longer to the game, but you are quite right, there are sources for the tickets dependent upon price.

    There are a few of these I attend for LSU each year–Alabama, Arkansas and now with the Aggies coming back to us, I think the rekindled game with A&M may become like that. Of course, my brother in law and I are working on getting some B1G teams scheduled for LSU during the OOC regular season. No one really wants to schedule anything at LSU due to not knowing what the next season schedule will be like since the SEC office made it clear that this season’s schedule was only this season’s schedule.

    During my waiting time here at Cedars I will work on the tickets.

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