While one of the biggest scandals in the history of sports is specifically connected only to college basketball (for the moment), it does have the potential to impact at least on FBS program.
In the wake of the FBI investigation that threatens to completely alter college hoops as we know it, Louisville announced Wednesday afternoon that athletic director Tom Jurich has been placed on paid administrative leave, effective immediately. The U of L’s Board of Trustees will review the AD’s status at an Oct. 18 meeting, and make a decision on his status moving forward. In the meantime, an interim athletic director will be hired within the next 48 hours.
Which brings us to Bobby Petrino.
Hired by the Cardinals (again) in January of 2014, Petrino’s contract is tied to Jurich being at the school. Or, more specifically, his buyout is tied to Jurich being his boss.
According to contract details revealed by WDRB-TV in late February of 2014, Petrino’s buyout would be $8.5 million if he were to leave the U of L between now and the end of 2018. It would then drop to $7 million in 2019, and $5 million after that.
However, the station reported, the buyout number would be split in half if at any point Jurich leaves as athletic director and Petrino remains as head football coach. What wasn’t detailed at the time, and remains unclear at the moment, is whether Jurich’s manner of departure — in this case effectively fired for cause, based on media reports — would impact that part of Petrino’s contract.
Additionally, the two sides agreed to a new seven-year deal in April of 2016; does the language in that revamped contract impact this situation at all?
The real question, though, given Petrino’s penchant for a wandering eye both on and off the field, would other Power Five programs be beating down his door, even at half the buyout cost?
(Tip O’ the Cap: SBNation.com)