UT's buyout money doesn't count each fiscal year

Amounts put into escrow account

Jimmy Cheek, left, and Mike Hamilton, right.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Jimmy Cheek, left, and Mike Hamilton, right.

Rod  Delmonico

Photo by mc.DSC_0008

Rod Delmonico

Bruce  Pearl

Photo by Adam Brimer

Bruce Pearl

Phillip  Fulmer

Photo by MARK HUMPHREY

Phillip Fulmer

Weaved among a litany of roots that shrunk the University of Tennessee athletic department's financial reserve to below $2 million following the 2011-12 fiscal year was, "Changes in leadership," according to a UT financial update released on Aug. 27.

With change comes residual effects.

"During the past four years, the athletics department has experienced a significant expense related to payments to former coaches in the sports of football, baseball and men's basketball as well as former directors of athletics," the release said.

Following a five-year department cleansing that began with the firing of baseball coach Rod Delmonico in June 2007 and included the ouster of former football coach Phillip Fulmer and men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl, among others, and ended with the resignation of former athletic director Mike Hamilton, Tennessee found itself knee-deep in contract buyouts.

Those buyouts, in turn, have been one of many factors suppressing the athletic department's ability to increase its cash reserve, the university claims.

Upon those terminations/resignations, agreed upon or otherwise, of any administrator or coach, UT has placed the full amount owed into an escrow account, according to athletic department spokesperson Jimmy Stanton. Thus, the amounts owed do not count against each fiscal

year moving forward.

For instance, after inking a separation agreement with Fulmer effective Nov. 30, 2008, the coach's full 48-month payout worth $6 million was placed in an escrow account, put on the books for the 2008-09 financial year, and ultimately paid out in $125,000 monthly installments.

The same applied for Pearl's buyout of $948,728 paid out over 15 months following his March 2011 termination. As well as former baseball coach Todd Raleigh, who replaced Delmonico in 2007, and received a $331,657.531 buyout over 13 months after being fired in May 2011.

"These situations have played a role in diminishing the cash reserve balance of the department of athletics," the UT financial update said.

There is, however, a buyout-free light at the end of the Tennessee tunnel.

The final checks from Tennessee to both Pearl and Raleigh were paid out in July.

Fulmer's $6 million burden will come off the books on Dec. 31 of this year.

After more than half a decade of mailing checks for services not rendered, the UT athletic department will enter 2013 with only two remaining buyouts.

After his resignation in June 2011, and ultimately replaced by Hart, Hamilton, the former athletic director, signed a separation agreement for $1,335,000 to be paid out over 36 months.

He's been receiving just over $37,000 per month since and will continue to do so until July 2014.

Additionally, former UT wide receiver coach Charlie Baggett is being paid $425,000 over 24 months based on an agreement that began on Dec. 31, 2011.

All told, if there are no other terminations and settlement agreements made before Hamilton and Baggett come off the books, Tennessee will have paid nearly $12 million in buyouts.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 37

9thSon writes:

I am surprised they have enough money to pay the ice, soft drink and hot dog bill for the Akron game this weekend.

NashvillePreds writes:

Seems like a timely article. My suspicion is we'll have some new buyouts starting in December.
Mike Hamilton is the gift that keeps on giving.

JimmyJoe writes:

How much is Dooley's?

Classof72 writes:

You can't spell buyoUT without UT.

I see a buyout comin'
It's comin' round the bend,
Cause we ain't won a conference game,
Since Vandy was our friend.

We're hangin' by our fingers,
Just barely holdin' on,
And if we don't stop losin'
Another coach is gone.

Vol1983 writes:

Hamilton's buyout makes me sick. That ugly little monster did so much damage.

VolInIndy writes:

in response to Classof72:

You can't spell buyoUT without UT.

I see a buyout comin'
It's comin' round the bend,
Cause we ain't won a conference game,
Since Vandy was our friend.

We're hangin' by our fingers,
Just barely holdin' on,
And if we don't stop losin'
Another coach is gone.

Class of 72 and still productive. Kudos!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

How much is Dooley's?

$5million. Drops to $4million in feb.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Vol1983:

Hamilton's buyout makes me sick. That ugly little monster did so much damage.

Hamilton's and Pearl's. Pearl breached his contract with NCAA violations and got a million dollar buyout. The damndest thing I've ever seen in my life.

needa_momma writes:

I blame Bush!

pcorange writes:

WTH? I thought Pearl and Tony Jones were both fired for cause. That being the case, why should they have gotten a buyout? They broke the rules, they deserved to be fired, and we shouldn't be paying them.

pcorange writes:

How much did we get when Lane Kiffin bolted?

rockypop writes:

And, the remaining payments of all these buyouts is supposed to be good news?

pcorange writes:

in response to Vol1983:

Hamilton's buyout makes me sick. That ugly little monster did so much damage.

Ain't that the truth?

CrankE writes:

in response to Classof72:

You can't spell buyoUT without UT.

I see a buyout comin'
It's comin' round the bend,
Cause we ain't won a conference game,
Since Vandy was our friend.

We're hangin' by our fingers,
Just barely holdin' on,
And if we don't stop losin'
Another coach is gone.

+1000!
Gimme that last verse!

Well if they freed me from this escrow
If this football team was mine
I bet they'd man it up
And run it through the line

Far from Winless Prison
That's where I want to stay
And there'd be just one more buyout
Bamboo go away....

You reckon we could come up with one for Egg Sucking Dog (Ceramic Orange Dog)?

CrankE writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Hamilton's and Pearl's. Pearl breached his contract with NCAA violations and got a million dollar buyout. The damndest thing I've ever seen in my life.

Pearl's case was particularly galling.

Firing for cause means zero buyout in my book, but thanks to Lord Hamilton, The Indecisive, UT terminated Pearl's contract, yet kept him employed. Proclaimed that he was our guy, yet yanked the rug out from under his team while they were en route to the NCAA tournament. Then promptly fired him after the first round loss that Hamilton contributed to with his ever-changing position on Pearl. Brilliant!

But as I opined at the time, Hamilton's neck was tied up with Pearl's. If Pearl didn't survive, Hamilton wouldn't either. Too bad they couldn't have both been fired in September, 2010.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Seems like a timely article. My suspicion is we'll have some new buyouts starting in December.
Mike Hamilton is the gift that keeps on giving.

I started laughing the second I saw this article posted. Timely is an understatement. I hate the thought of paying Dooley even more money, but its time to finalize the divorce.

Seriously, what other fan site posts an article about the cost of buy outs after week 3? I am ready for the number crunching to begin.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All they need to do is have a New Coach Appreciation Day for Akron. Come to the game, buy 2 hotdogs and 2 Cokes if you want Dooley gone...instead of having only 80,000. Money for the buyout.

SummittsCourt writes:

Thanks hammy!

Classof72 writes:

I'm not trying to get rid of Dooley; that decision won't be based on comments from the peanut gallery. I'm just observing that the Vols can't keep losing and losing in the conference. You don't get paid 7 figures to lose to all the contenders every time. At some point they have to beat somebody or pack it in. I hope they beat somebody.

pcorange writes:

Fulmer looks pretty darn good about now. I wasn't opposed to letting him go back then, but we wouldn't be in the shape we're in right now if he were still here. Cut the losses and let's go get us a coach. Filling Neyland on Saturdays and the increased merchanise sales will finance it if we get a winner.

MikeNPS writes:

IMHO, the person who agreed to pay anything to Hamilton should be fired. The only thing Hamilton should have received upon his departure was a kick in the rear end for all his bad decisions/mis-hires/mistakes.

tvol71 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

$5million. Drops to $4million in feb.

Why would it not reduce until February, just about signing day. Another one of that idiot Hamilton's ideas, I guess.

tvol71 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Hamilton's and Pearl's. Pearl breached his contract with NCAA violations and got a million dollar buyout. The damndest thing I've ever seen in my life.

It seems that the contract would state that if you commit a major NCAA violation, you wouldn't get a buyout. I think Hamilton, from an ACC school, was trying to sabotage an SEC school, unfortunately did a pretty good job. It also seems you would not get a buyout for incompetence, or intentional damages to the school, whichever is the case.

Rumblefish writes:

So....the Athletic Dept is operating in the red.

Dooley's buyout is $5 million...$4million after Feb 2013 (which won't happen bc it's too close to signing day)

What is the total buyout for all new 7 coaches??? I'm gonna go ahead and guess that the only coach that would be retained would be Jay Graham. Wishful thinking...what's the buyout for the 6 other coaches?

New coaches??? Here is the list of REALISTIC options:
-Charlie Strong, HC Louisville – Strong has shown that he can coach and recruit and is a defensive minded guy that could help the Hogs porous defense immediately. Strong is from Batesville, Arkansas, and attended the University of Central Arkansas. He’s been in and around the SEC for several years with Florida and South Carolina. He could be ideal.
-Gus Malzahn, HC Arkansas State – Gus has a dynamic offense, and he is widely considered one of the best play callers in the game. His offense broke NCAA records at Tulsa, and it helped Auburn win its’ first national championship in over 50 years. Malzahn is in his first year as a HC, so he has some experience. Gus is from Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and attended Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
-Butch Davis, advisor Tampa Bay Bucs – Butch got his first head coaching job with the Miami Hurricanes in 1995, after serving as the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator in 1993 and 1994. Miami had slipped into mediocrity and Davis brought the team back to national prominence. He has a great defensive mind and is known to be an outstanding recruiter. The NCAA recently exonerated Davis of any wrongdoing during his tenure as head coach at North Carolina. Butch is from Springdale, Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas.
-Kirby Smart, DC Alabama – Smarts’ defenses have been stellar while at Bama. His 3-4 scheme has produced two national championships in three years and is considered the best defense in all of college football. Smart won the Broyles Award in 2009 as the best assistant coach in the nation. Kirby is from Montgomery, Alabama, and attended the University of Georgia.
-Dana Holgorsen, HC West Virginia – Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, and he helped build up their dynamic passing attack before leaving for West Virginia. He was also on staff at Texas Tech from 2000-07. His play-calling has been outstanding, and he has turned out to be a solid head coach and recruiter. Dana is from Davenport, Iowa, and attended Iowa Wesleyan.
-Garrick McGee, HC UAB – McGee is in his first year as a head coach at UAB. Garrick was Arkansas’ OC from 2010-2011 when the Hogs won 21 games. There is some concern with bringing McGee back to Arkansas because he may want to retain a number of coaches on the current Razorbacks staff. McGee is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attended OU.

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

The difference between UT and Bama is that Bama dishes out the money to coaches who win whereas UT dished the money out to coaches who lose.

pcshowtime writes:

coach Charlie Baggett being paid $425,000 is on d dooley and d rogers they are the reason he was let go. Just so rogers could eventually be thrown off the team right before season starts. dooley is and idiot.

lafollette37766 writes:

Wanna live the good life, get fired as a UT coach. I wish I could make that kind of money just sitting at the house.

Vol1983 writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

IMHO, the person who agreed to pay anything to Hamilton should be fired. The only thing Hamilton should have received upon his departure was a kick in the rear end for all his bad decisions/mis-hires/mistakes.

I wonder if there was some little dirty secret that Jimmy C didn't want Hammy telling, and that prompted the "buyout"? So what's the secret Jimmy? Hammy may tell after he gets his last cheek-urrr check.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually I have an idea. We have just over 6 million people in this great state. By the looks of it about 1million are bandwagon Bammer fans, and about 1million bandwagon UF fans, a couple hundred thousand UGA fans. Now I'm probably giving them too much credit but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there are about 100 Memphis fans and 200 Vandy fans. That leaves roughly 4 million die hard UT fans. Have the citizens that are UT fans donate $2.50 a piece to the UT coaching fund. That would be $10 million dollars and would buy out the entire staff. Offer 4-5 million to Gruden and I swear he would come. Perhaps the numbers are off a tad. But you see what I'm getting at.

underthehill writes:

UT needs at least 7 wins with one being over a quality opponent for this issue to get less attention. I still can't see any reason for the contract UT gave Dave Hart..looks like more of the same nonsense noted above..

volforeverandever writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Seems like a timely article. My suspicion is we'll have some new buyouts starting in December.
Mike Hamilton is the gift that keeps on giving.

No there won't be.

-

volforeverandever writes:

These previous comments are all very funny.Coach Dooley will be our coach next year.Alot of you said the same thing last year.

crappieking writes:

Whatever Dooley's buyout is, DO IT! A career coaching loser. 4-13 in SEC play? Pathetic. Soon to be 4-17. GA, SC, BAMA, MISS ST = All losses.

crappieking writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm with you CGB! 1 grand it is!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I did not say I was turned on or off by Coach Dooley.I said it was funny about these silly post.Coach Dooley will be our coach next year.I will support the Tennessee football team who ever is coach and right now Coach Dooley is the coach and again he will be here next year.

IdahoVol writes:

Some of you people are hilarious. First, let the next 4 SEC games play out. If we win a couple of those, Dooley is here next year. If we go 0-4 in those he's probably gone. All the opinions posted here won't matter either way.

As for Cowher and Gruden - no chance either one of them comes. Cowher's name comes up the most and I can't imagine he's sitting back hoping the UT job opens up. IF we need to hire a new coach for next year, we need to pony up and get someone with HC experience, not another "up and coming" assistant or someone with one year head coaching experience. (The last comment is not aimed at Cowher and Gruden, but at some of the other names being tossed around.)

Again, the season will determine whether Dooley is retained, not a fan forum.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to IdahoVol:

Some of you people are hilarious. First, let the next 4 SEC games play out. If we win a couple of those, Dooley is here next year. If we go 0-4 in those he's probably gone. All the opinions posted here won't matter either way.

As for Cowher and Gruden - no chance either one of them comes. Cowher's name comes up the most and I can't imagine he's sitting back hoping the UT job opens up. IF we need to hire a new coach for next year, we need to pony up and get someone with HC experience, not another "up and coming" assistant or someone with one year head coaching experience. (The last comment is not aimed at Cowher and Gruden, but at some of the other names being tossed around.)

Again, the season will determine whether Dooley is retained, not a fan forum.

I will agree with what you said.My point was all this pie in the sky dreaming is silly.The whole season will decide what happens not one game.Mr.Hart said progress and I believe we have seen some.I believe we will have a winning season and a bowl.If that happens the 2013 season starts with Dooley as coach.All this talk about Cowher and Gruden is just plain silly.

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