Arkansas has had to tap the well for buyout money quite a bit in recent years. The good news for the school however is that those checks will be a little smaller than first thought going forward.
That’s the result of ex-head coach Chad Morris’ new deal at Auburn. Terms were released to the media last week of the Tigers’ new offensive coordinator and per AL.com, that will result in a three-year contract worth roughly $735,000 annually.
If that doesn’t sound like a lot for an SEC coordinator, you’d be right. It’s especially true given how much rival Alabama is prepared to pay their OC, Steve Sarkisian, given recent reports.
However, Morris isn’t just being paid by Auburn. Arkansas still owes him millions in buyout money.
The figure was originally on the order of $10 million after he was fired midseason by the Hogs last year. That total was spread out over the next four years. However, Morris had an offset in his deal so the amount the Tigers are paying him will mitigate down that total from Fayetteville some.
Morris will still wind up taking home nearly $2.5 million each of the next four years. Thanks to the AU deal however, the amount coming from UA will drop to nearly $1.7 million from now until 2022.
The new coordinator deal is also fully guaranteed between Morris and the Tigers. If he’s fired, the school owes him every penny. If he leaves for another job that isn’t a head coaching gig, he would owe everything left as a buyout.
Either way, Morris is both reunited with his old friend Gus Malzahn on the Plains and a very rich man. At least for folks at Arkansas, that arrangement will at least save them some money even if their ex-coach is at a division rival.
The Hogs also recently stopped paying former head coach’s Bret Bielema’s buyout last year as part of some legal wrangling. As a result, the nearly $22 million the program was set to be on the hook for in just the past three seasons is actually quite a bit less than first thought.
That all might not help take the sting out of the lack of victories in Fayetteville but it certainly will help the ol’ check book if nothing else.