Samford v Arkansas

Bielema’s contract details released


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.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.