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.

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