There is money, and then there is football.
While SEC schools issue multimillion-dollar buyout checks like PPE loans, the Big 12’s most profitable athletic department protects its Venmo account.
Texas has just shown what it values most and, therefore, demonstrated why there is such a big gap between the Big 12 and the SEC.
Even though COVID crashed through the entire 2020 college football season, three SEC schools didn’t use it as an excuse and fired their respective coaches, regardless of the cost of doing so.
November 15, South Carolina fired Will Muschamp and ate his $13.2 million buyout.
Two weeks later, Vanderbilt fired Derek Mason, and because Vandy is a private school, its buyout figure is not publicly known. But since he had several years left on his contract and given the current D1 rate, we can assume that his buyout should also be in the millions.
And then on Sunday, Auburn fired Gus Malzahn, who only costs $21.45 million.
The moral of the story? Don’t lose to Texas A&M. (The Aggies whipped all three in 20.)
On Saturday, Texas promised his love to Tom Herman. The only reason Texas retained Tom Herman is money.
A day before Malzahn was fired, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte released a public statement and said Brian Davis and Kirk Bohls from Austin American Statesman Herman would be back in 2021.
To buy out Herman would require a check for $15 million. According to Davis and Bohls, changing the rest of the staff would mean an additional $10 million.
CDC may like Herman and believing in him, but after openly flirting with former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, faith is not only cracked, but gone.
You don’t look at another coach because you believe in the one you have. Herman knows it.
The CDC looked at the ledger and decided to buy out Herman in this COVID climate is not only bad for the bottom line, but also bad for the morale of the entire University of Texas system.
Due to COVID, UT has issued furloughs and made cuts in school employees. On September 1, 2020, the UT Athletic Department announced that 35 staff members had been terminated and 35 additional vacancies would be permanently eliminated.
Another 273 staff members received temporary pay cuts and 11 staff members were terminated with benefits.
Even though the University of Texas athletics department doesn’t need public funds, the timing of spending about $25 million on a man other than an Urban Meyer-caliber trainer just wasn’t worth it. .
But there will be consequences.
Herman will coach for his job in 2021, as he brings in a quarterback who has never played. And he has to sell recruits who have the Internet.
He will, however, be aided by a Non-conference schedule 2021 which features Rice, Louisiana, but has a road game in Arkansas on 9/11. If UT can’t win in Arkansas, CDC won’t have to make a decision.
While Herman clings to Austin, 851 miles east Auburn will replace a head coach it hired to replace the guy who won a national title in 2010, Gene Chizik.
Malzahn led Auburn to the national title game in the 2013 season and had the lead with 1:19 remaining in the game against Florida State.
But Florida State had Jameis Winston and scored a touchdown with 13 seconds left to win 34-31.
Malzahn was unable to coach in the same state against the best coach of the modern era. Malzahn was never going to conquer Mount Saban in Tuscaloosa.
Either way, even in a COVID year, Auburn doesn’t care. Same for South Carolina.
Shit, even Vanderbilt didn’t care.
Because there is football, and then there is money.
This story was originally published December 14, 2020 5:00 a.m.