The Details

By Johnny Ginter on November 29, 2011 at 1:25p

It's a pretty short document; for whatever reason I expected a term sheet detailing the most important hire within Ohio State football for a decade to be a little more elaborate than five pages, especially when millions of dollars are involved, but truth be told it's pretty simple and straightforward.

The basic facts are these: Urban Meyer will be compensated four million dollars over six years, which puts him among the highest paid college football coaches in the country, and the highest paid in the Big Ten. What's nice is that it's really not all that much more than the 3.8 million that Jim Tressel made in his final year of coaching, and still much less than the nearly 5.2 million in gross overpayment that Mack Brown is getting at Texas (although it's way more than the 1.2 million Fickell made this season). Meyer will also receive bonuses the longer that he stays on contract; he'll get an additional $450,000 in 2014, $750,000 in 2016, and $1.2 million in 2018 if he ends up staying that long.

Meyer also gets the standard bonuses related to performance: $50,000 for a divisional championship, $100,000 plus a year added to his contract should he win a Big Ten championship game, $150,000 for a BCS game, and then $250,000 for a BCS championship appearance.

Pretty standard stuff. Win and stay, he gets paid. But then it gets a little interesting.

First of all, Meyer's payment breaks down like this:

  • Base compensation of $700,000
  • "Media, promotions, and public relations," $1,850,000
  • Apparel/shoe/equipment, aka the Nike portion, $1,400,000
  • Retirement, $40,000
  • Coca-Cola appearance payment (which I assume means continuing the Tressel tradition of carefully placing a Cherry Coke next to himself at WHAC pressers), $10,000

No huge surprises, although some people may be surprised at the Coca-Cola bit. I also don't think that Meyer has to worry too much about retirement, but hey, maybe the man has a Fabergé egg collection he needs to maintain, I don't know.

Meyer also gets bonuses for academic progress, as monitored by graduation rates and APR. Should Meyer hit within the 70-79.99% area with graduation rates, he'll get a $100,000 bonus. 80% or above, that jumps up to $150,000. With APR, he'll get those same bonuses should OSU football score 990-999 and 1000 or above, respectively. Last year OSU football had a graduation rate of 63% and an APR of 971, which is pretty good but certainly can be improved upon.


Then the fun stuff kicks in. All good deals need perks, and though Meyer's isn't loaded with them, there are still some items of note.

Meyer and his family will get the standard tickets to football games and a press box suite, along with two parking passes which I kind of hope he ends up taking up via the use of one obnoxiously gigantic truck, painted scarlet and grey, that blasts "Across the Field" nonstop through two huge mounted bullhorns.

If Meyer wants to make a recruiting visit that's more than 200 miles away, he'll have use of OSU's private aircraft, although for no more than 50 hours per year. Meyer is also allowed 35 hours of use per year for his own use, which I assume will probably include a lot of trips to watch his kids play sports and whatnot (along with scouring the globe for the lost egg of Nicholas the Second).

Meyer also gets a full golf membership at a "mutually-agreed upon golf course," but OSU is only paying the dues so if he wants a candy bar at the pro shop that's coming out of his own damn pocket. $1200 a month will also go toward paying for two cars (or, as mentioned, one really sweet tricked out one), and Meyer will also have access to summer camps as per usual for college coaches. As OSU head coach, Meyer is also obligated to do the standard radio/tv circuit, and OSU essentially owns his likeness for ad purposes.

Finally, OSU has agreed to help create something called the Urban Meyer Fellowship for Ethics and Leadership in Sports. No details on what this actually is as of yet, but given how displeased Meyer was with the general state of ethics in college football in general and the SEC in particular, I wouldn't be surprised for this to become something of a forum for Meyer to be able to air those grievances.

The other, more important contract

Before he signed on to OSU, Meyer needed to sign on with his family. Shelley Meyer has said that if this had been any other job but Ohio State, Urban would never have agreed to coach. And even given that, his family wants to make sure that he maintains his mental and physical health and not get sucked into his job the way he did at Florida.

So, as a solution, Urban's daughter Nicki suggested the idea of a family contract. Urban is required by said contract to take vacations, visit with his kids, and generally make sure that he's able to delegate work and not allow football to become a detriment to his health. Gene Smith has said that OSU will do everything it can to make sure that all of the details on that particular document are followed as well, and for the well being of both Urban and his family I hope that it does.


Comments Show All Comments

jack's picture

I like that family contract idea.  Good balance in life is essential, like balancing the pass with a good ground game.  There, I worked football into my comment.

cheers, and Go Bucks!!!

ScarletGrayMnA's picture

Note that this is just the term sheet -- his full contract will be drafted/negoatiated in the next few weeks and will include more detailed provisions

Johnny Ginter's picture

thanks for the heads up, i feel pretty dumb for not catching that (weirdly enough i have never signed a multimillion dollar contract; sitting in my underwear in my mom's basement doesn't pay as well as you would think)

Kyle's picture

I like that they made academics and APR score an incentive.  Also like this whole notion of the Fellowship for Ethics and Leadership in Sports.  I could see him helping to drive the conversation on how to best reform collegiate athletics for the better. 


Side note: Anyone know where to get that snazzy tie he was wearing?  That thing was awesome.

Buckeye Black's picture

No bonus for beating scUM?  I think he should get a bonus everytime he refers to that school as something other than its formal name.

M Man's picture

If Meyer beats Michigan, he gets to keep his job.  If not, he gets to play golf with John Cooper.

ScottS's picture

Is anyone else not thrilled about this hire? He's a great coach, but what I really want is for the Bucks to beat his socks off, not hire him.

Bucksfan's picture

You can't beat the SEC champion doing things the way Ohio State had been doing them.  Cronyism, conservative play, lack of QB and OL development.  You need a 21st Century philosophy if you want to win national championships.  And no one is more in-tune with that than Urban Meyer.

Doc's picture

Who, on God's green Earth would you rather have than a 2xMNC winner?  This is a home run hire for OSU, no matter how you slice it.  Meyer may turn out to be damaged goods.  He also may turn out to be our next Woody Hayes.  The guy is 48 and could easily coach another 15-20 years.  If he keeps his nose and program clean and wins anything close to JT the job is his for as long as he wants it.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Denny's picture

A unicorn.


ScottS's picture

Yeah, look, I know he's a great coach and we definitely need to do something different (less cronyism, more varied offense). But doesn't something stick in your craw about hiring the best coach from a conference that's tormented us over the last few years? I'd love to have found some other way to win.

pompano buckeye's picture

Surely something sticks in my craw.  I would have loved to see some poor kid that was left behind a dumpster at The Shoe, taken in by the janatorial staff and lived in the broom closet under the student section, where he supported himself picking up (illeagally smuggled in) aluminum cans and lugging them to a scrap yard somewhere on Joyce Avenue, while saving every red cent in order to pay for the opportunity to take the GED test, and as a young man roamed the sidelines at all home games, unnoticed, as he was for most of his life, until that fateful day in some late November, with UM in the Shoe, only to find out that The Coach was sick....and no one felt that they could save the season by beating that hated team...and FINALLY, said kid steps up, volunteers to coach the team, and our beloved Buckeyes stomp those lousy Skunkbears, and we go on a 15 year undefeated romp, winning so many NCs that we have to start refusing to take the Crystal Footballs because we have run out of space...and instead, start donating them to Tattoo Parlors on High Street, and do not expect free tattoos in return!

But....That is probably not going to happen, so I have to say that I am absolutely ecstatic about having one of the greatest coaches in recent history leave that lousy SEC conference and come to our house!


“...indomitable in victory, insufferable in defeat.” Woody Hayes

Johnny Ginter's picture

welp that's about the best comment ever

Luke's picture

This comment is like the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand except for rec's/a karma system.

ThirdLegLouie's picture

...and his name was James Woodrow Brown....

Best comment ever by a land slide

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

Nappy's picture

Would we have loved to beat him in 06?  Absolutely.  But if you refuse to hire a coach because he beat you in your previous matchup, you really limit your options.  And the fact he coached in the SEC should only help, not hurt.


I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

ArTbkward's picture

Most people would agree that Tress is an amazing coach.  His numbers speak for themselves.  Meyer handed Tress his second worst loss of his Ohio State career ( USC 35-3 was most lopsided).  Why wouldn't you want someone who has proven he can outcoach one of the best OSU has ever had.  I can't think of anyone else more qualified to take the reins of this program unless Woody Hayes finds a way to reincarnate himself.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

Hopefully Meyer recruits quality kids. Not guys like he had at UF. I know every program has its turds, but hopefully we won't lower our moral bar, to get SEC type players. Don't want us turning into an SEC type team. Poor character, 50% grad rates, oversigning. 

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

William's picture

Ohio State football players have had their fair share of run-ins with the law, glass houses and all.

Denny's picture

Nothing 'sticks in my craw about hiring the best coach from a conference that's tormented us over the last few years'. There's nothing sensical in that argument at all.


Doc's picture

What was urban supposed to do during the '06 MNC game?  Take a knee for 60 minutes?  Let us win?  Boy, I would be proud of that trophy. /sarcasm  Urban was doing the job he was hired to and paid to do.  Win.  He won, plain and simple.  We should be more upset at Tress and the Buckeyes taking things too lightly.


A buddy and I were talking on the way to the Wisky game that of ALL the coaches coaching right now Urban Meyer was the only one we would settle for.  Anybody else would be a disappointment.  Urban will bring a whole new level of energy to the program.  I'm as excited as I have ever been for Buckeye football.  I'll bet there will be 85-90,000 people at the spring game next year.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

GabbyHayes's picture

But, if JT had won that game, you'd be saying that we shouldn't have settled for a guy that couldn't beat out last coach. 

Bucksfan's picture

Do you think it sticks in Michigan's craw one bit that their coaching legend was an Ohio product and Woody's right hand man at Ohio State?  Nope.

You get the best you can get, and stand behind him.  He's 100% a Buckeye.  Just because he beat us on the field 5 years ago in an exhibition played 7.5 weeks after the end of the regular season doesn't mean squat today.  If anything, it's probably the best line on his resume.

Buckeyejason's picture

Some other way, like what Scott?

He's the best coach that we could pick up, how do you not make the move?


baddogmaine's picture

I have no problem with the hire; I also am not convinced that this was the best hire. First, as much as I love OSU football the idea of paying that much for a coach bothers me. I don't believe that Meyer will generate multi-millions more than, say, Tim Beckman who really impressed me in our game v. Toledo. Of course Beckman doesn't have the record of Meyer, he doesn't have the record JT had at Youngstown State. But then Brady Hoke had no such record either and early evidence is that scUM made a good hire. And if Beckman could give OSU a fight with OSU rejects - which is what Toledo gets - what could he do with first choice of Ohio athletes? If Meyer wins quickly then it's just a matter of whether one thinks the money is worth the results. If he doesn't, if he goes 9-3 or 10-2 but can't do better on a regular basis I for one will continue to wonder what might happen if coaches were hired based on rigorous interviewing as much as past reputation. Which is to ask, in a more thoroiugh investigation would Meyer still look like the only way we could return to glory? My answer to Jason would be that researching, investigating, interviewing rather than picking out a target right from the start is a better way of determining whether he is, in fact, the best coach that OSU could get.

Doc's picture

ANY coaching hire is a crap shoot.  No matter who it is.  Nick Satan could turn into Thumbs McGee at another school.  Urban, like Satan, is a known commodity.  Everyone is hired or fired on past performance.  Odds are Meyer will win just as much, if not more in Columbus.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Big Swede's picture

By the logic that Tim Beckman played us tough in a losing effort with inferior talent, it would lead me to believe that you would strongly endorse the hiring of Danny Hope. Won two of his three meeting against OSU with vastly inferior talent. His record speaks for itself, a winner at every level, one of the top recruiters on the nation, and oh by the way he's got 2 national titles. Look Urban many not win us two or three championships, hell he may not win us one, but Urban Meyer is one of those guys that if he is available and wants to coach your team you don't even think twice about hiring him. Hell the guy has barley been the coach for 24 hours and he is already recruiting his guts out. Urban is exactly the kind of guy OSU needs to compete for national titles right now.

Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

According that logic, there are a lot of coaches that are qualified ...many MAC scools kept it close against our JT coached bucks teams - an Akron here, an Ohio there, etc.  How could someone not be elated with this hire is beyond me.   Absolute homerun.

Peter Pete Peterson's picture

How about we get beyond the past and embrace the future! The guy is a Buckeye and a proven winner! Listen, both he and his wife said that if not OSU, he would not be coaching. This will be a good thing!

Peter "Pete" Peterson

"Recruiting is like shaving, if you don't do it everyday, you look like a bum!"  -Jim Tressel


Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I love the family contract and the graduation and academics portion of the contract. And I love that this man is a Buckeye at heart. As for him thumping us in the championship, if you can't beat them, sign them to a ridiculous contract.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

doodah_man's picture

I had been having difficulty with the emphasis on the big dollars in NCAA football and the demise of the old traditions of college football.  But now, I figure I might as well join the dark side. 

Dear Florida:

You may have beat us in 2006 but now, since we are pretty damn flush with money, we own your coach. Look around, you never know who is next..



Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Johnny Ginter's picture

fluh-huuuusssh with caaaasssssshhhh

Johnny Ginter's picture


ThirdLegLouie's picture

I can't remember the exact article I was reading yesterday to post a link here, but someone said that Meyer wanted an incentive in his contract for back-to-back champtionships.  If that is true, it is one of the coolest things I've ever heard. I wouldn't care if that incentive was millions, back-to-back would be worth every penny.

Did anyone else read this?

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

GabbyHayes's picture

I've constructed a reality in my mind that Ohio loaned Urban out to other teams until he was ready for OSU and we had a vacancy to fill. And when ND and UM had vacancies, our guys assured Urban that there would be no reason to consider those positions as we would be taking care of him shortly. All that was left was a way for Urban to vacate his temporary employer so that his availability seemed fortuitous. 

alexkolb's picture

I'm pretty sure any decent lawyer can get him out of that family contract.