Bielema’s contract details released

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A little less than 10 months after his stunning departure from Wisconsin, Bret Bielema‘s new employer has released the coach’s contract particulars.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Bielema’s six-year contract, which runs through Dec. 31 of 2018, will pay the head coach in the neighborhood of $2.95 million annually.  Bonuses based on academic and on-field performance could push that number to as high as $3.65 million.

Last season with the Badgers, his seventh season in Madison, Bielema made just over $2.6 million.

The $2.95 million figure would’ve placed Bielema behind Alabama’s Nick Saban ($5.5 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($3.9 million), South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier ($3.6 million) and Auburn’s Gene Chizik ($3.6 million) in the SEC contractual pecking order.  While Chizik’s involuntarily departed The Plains following the 2012 season, Georgia’s Mark Richt received a contract extension as well as a raise this past February that will push his compensation from $2.81 million in 2012 to $3.2 million in 2013, leaving Bielema tied for fifth in the conference in the salary arms race; in July of this year, Florida’s Will Muschamp was given a raise that will pay him the same $2.95 million in 2013.

If Bielema were to be fired between now and the end of the 2015 season, UA would owe the coach a whopping $12.8 million.  That total decreases by $3.2 million from thereon out through the end of the contract.  Conversely, Bielema would owe the university $3 million if he decided to leave at some point this year, with that sum dropping by $500,000 annually.

In his first season with the Razorbacks, Bielema has gotten the Hogs off to their third 3-0 start the past four seasons.

UConn head coach Randy Edsall: We’ve become a farm system, pay the players

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The FBI sting into college basketball malfeasance has gotten a lot of folks riled up on Friday afternoon, especially when it comes to NCAA rules and potential violations. This, in turn, is leading to everybody and their brother rehashing the argument to pay (or not pay) players.

While you would probably not have expected it, even football coaches are wading into the discourse and there’s a somewhat surprising line of thinking being taken by UConn head coach Randy Edsall on Twitter:

While Edsall’s first point about football coaches getting nervous about the FBI probe spilling over into their sport probably rings true, it’s not every day you see a head coach openly advocating for paying players and calling college football a farm system for the NFL.

The Huskies head coach’s latter tweet is referring to a proposal put forward by the SEC that was approved last month which essentially allows non-coaching analysts to evaluate film of recruits in ways they could not previously do so. This has led to many expecting programs (looking at you, Alabama) creating player personnel departments in even greater numbers to streamline evaluating prospects and allow certain staffers to handle more of the recruiting load.

Edsall is far from the first coach to advocate paying players but something says his comments on Friday will also mean he will just be the latest in a long line of advocates for advancing much the same cause, especially in light of the payments going on in college basketball that are just beginning to come to light.

Charlotte’s Greg Adkins reportedly Marshall’s new O-Line coach

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Country roads, take him home.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, Charlotte assistant Greg Adkins is expected to return to his alma mater of Marshall to take over as the Thundering Herd’s next offensive line coach.

Adkins is well known around Huntington for his work with the team back in the early 1990’s when they were winning NCAA titles and making regular title game appearances at the then-Division I-AA level. He also had stops at Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and with the Buffalo Bills among others before being hired at Charlotte by Brad Lambert.

The return of Adkins fills the hole on Marshall’s staff after the departure of offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, who left for Oregon earlier in the week.

Reports: Tim Drevno stepping down as Michigan’s OC

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An offseason of change in Jim Harbaugh‘s Michigan coaching staff continues, with one of the Wolverines’ million-dollar assistants stepping down.  Reportedly.

Multiple reports, including ones from The Wolverine Lounge and SI.com‘s Bruce Feldman, are indicating that Tim Drevno has decided to step down from his post as U-M’s offensive coordinator.  Drevno has been Harbaugh’s coordinator on that side of the ball each of his three seasons in Ann Arbor.

Drevno also served as the Wolverines’ offensive line coach.

Under Drevno’s direction, Michigan’s offense was tied for 91st nationally in averaging 25.2 points per game this past season.

The reports come three days after McElwain was officially announced as U-M’s new quarterbacks coach.  In the run-up to that hiring, it was reported that McElwain, the former coordinator at Alabama prior to his run as Florida’s head coach, could take over play-calling duties at U-M.

Arizona QB Brandon Dawkins to transfer from Wildcats

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An already crowded graduate transfer market has gained yet another entrant.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, Brandon Dawkins announced that he has decided to transfer out of new head coach Kevin Sumlin‘s football program. While no specific reason was given for the quarterback’s decision to move on, the presence of a Heisman Trophy contender, rising junior Khalil Tate, for the next two seasons likely played a significant role.

Dawkins is set to graduate this May, which will make him eligible to play immediately in 2018 at another FBS school if that’s the tack he takes.

Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before Tate took over.  For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.  He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.