FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A nonprofit supporting University of Arkansas athletics will pay fired head football coach Bret Bielema up to nearly $12 million over three years in a buyout agreement.
The buyout amount announced Tuesday between Bielema and the Razorback Foundation settles a disparity between the coach’s contract with the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and a separate agreement with the foundation. Based on when he was fired, the two agreements had set his severance pay at $5.9 million and $15.4 million respectively, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported .
“The original agreements were drafted by two different parties, and any discrepancy between the two was ultimately negotiated by the foundation,” said Nate Hinkel, spokesman for the university system. “Ultimately, you’d like to have matching documents when the terms of their content are being executed, but in this case there was a question about which one was in play and it was negotiated by the appropriate party.”
Bielema’s representatives “cooperated in developing the necessary mechanisms” to calculate the former coach’s buyout that will be paid in monthly installments, said Scott Varady, the foundation’s executive director. The two sides also worked on the language to lessen the sum based on Bielema’s future earnings.
The university fired Bielema in November after the Razorbacks lost their final game of the season to the University of Missouri, sealing a 29-34 record over his five-year span at the school.
Under the former coach’s agreement, he must “diligently” seek to find another job and give the foundation a written report of his efforts to do so every six months through the end of 2020. His buyout payments will be reduced should he find other employment, regardless of relevance to athletics.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com