As Houston is emphatically and impressively stating its case for inclusion in the Big 12 — or exclusion, given the level of competition they’d bring — Tom Herman‘s bank account is rooting like hell for an invitation — and for the coach to remain with the program.
At halftime of the UH-Oklahoma opener at the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans, athletic director Hunter Yurachek revealed that Herman’s contract, in the very near future, will officially contain a provision that stipulates the coach is to receive a $5 million bonus if the Cougars move from the AAC to one of the Power Five conferences. While it’s not officially a part of the deal the Cougars’ head football coach signed a few months ago, the two sides have signed a memo of understanding regarding the payment.
“We want him to be our coach for the very long term,” Yurachek said. “It was a special memo between Coach Herman and myself. It’s not officially in his contract, but I’d be glad to share it with you. It is legally binding. It’s a memo from myself to coach Herman. The university will honor that. It’s got my signature and his signature as employees of the University of Houston.”
Left unsaid by Yurachek is what if any stipulations are attached to the bonus, including how long Herman has to remain as UH’s coach after the program moves to a Power Five conference like the Big 12.
UH is one f 11 Group of Five schools still under consideration by the Big 12. A decision on expansion could be decided next month, although commissioner Bob Bowlsby hinted earlier Saturday that a decision might not be made until year’s end instead of at a mid-October meeting of conference presidents as some have expected.
All 11 contenders are expected to meet with conference officials this coming week.