Ohio State released a copy of Urban Meyer’s contract today. I’ve provided a summary below, or if you’re dying to know the details of Meyer’s 401K, you can read the full contract here: Urban Meyer employment contract FINAL (00170065)
Meyer’s contract starts by stipulating that Meyer agrees that he is “fully qualified and physically fit to serve.” Although it sounds like boilerplate contract language, neither Gene Smith’s contract as athletics director nor Luke Fickell’s deal as interim head coach included the phrase “and physically fit.” The school might have wanted to affirm that Meyer was healthy…given that health concerns are what caused him to leave Florida.
Term: The contract runs from November 28, 2011 to January 31, 2018
Salary: Meyer will be paid $700,000 in base salary a year and much more in bonuses (which we’ll get into later). Starting February 1, 2013 he can receive salary increases so long as they are approved by the Board of Trustees. Once you add in other forms of compensation, such as the money he’ll get for doing his radio show on 97.1 The Fan, The Dispatch reports that Meyer could make $26.015 million, again before bonuses.
Perks: $12,000 a month toward the use of two cars, 12 lower tickets at every Ohio State home game and the use of a suite, full membership with a local golf club, 50 hours of flight time every year for OSU business and 35 hours for personal use aboard a private (not commercial) aircraft
Bonuses: Meyer will be given bonuses based on the team’s cumulative GPA “calculated for the fall and spring semesters by May 30th of each year.”
- For a team GPA of 3.0 he receives $50,000
- For a team GPA of 3.3 he receives $100,000
- For a team GPA of 3.5 he receives $150,000
Meyer is set to be paid longevity bonuses if he is still with the team as of…
- January 31, 2014: $450,000
- January 31, 2016: $750,000
- January 31, 2018: $1,200,000
For winning the Big Ten Leaders Division Meyer receives $50,000. In 2012, when OSU is serving a postseason ban, Meyer will receive this $50,000 bonus if the team “has the most wins in the Leaders Division at the conclusion of the last regular season game.”
For winning the Big Ten Championship Game, Meyer receives $100,000 and (if he agrees to it) one-year is added to his contract. Interestingly, the contract takes into account the possibility that the Big Ten might do away with the title game. Should this happen, Meyer gets a $100,000 bonus and an additional year added to his contract if Ohio State is the regular season Champion or Co-Champion.
For a BCS Bowl appearance he receives $150,000. For an appearance in the BCS Championship game he receives $250,000.*
*Should a college football playoff system be implemented, OSU and Meyer agree that they will amend the contract.
NCAA rules & violations: Meyer’s contract says unequivocally that “Other than secondary violations currently and routinely in process, Ohio State has informed Coach of all significant NCAA issues of which it is aware.” Should any more major NCAA violations come to light that OSU knew or should have known about when they hired Meyer, Urban can walk away and pocket $1.5 million for every year left on his deal.
On the other hand, OSU can terminate Meyer for cause if he fails to “immediately report to the Director and to the Department’s Office of Compliance Services in writing if any person or entity, including without limitation, representatives of Ohio State’s athletic interests, has violated or is likely to violate or may potentially have violated” the rules.
If it turns out that Meyer reached one of his bonus milestones because of violations that the NCAA finds was due “in whole or in part” to Meyer’s wrongdoing, he has to pay back that bonus money.
Buyouts: Should Urban resign before his contract expires in order to accept work for another college team, a pro team, or a national media outlet, he owes the school $2 million.
Should OSU end the relationship early, Meyer will receive…
- $15,375,127 if let go before January 31, 2014
- $11,931,731 if let go between February 1, 2014 and January 31 2015
- $8,683,244 if let go between February 1, 2015 and January 31 2016
- $5,618,634 if let go between February 1, 2016 and January 31 2017
- $2,727,492 if let go between February 1, 2017 and January 31 2018
Other fun stuff: The contract puts in writing that Athletics Director must sign off (the exact wording is “reach mutual agreement”) before Meyer awards a student-athlete a scholarship.
Ohio State owns the domain name “Coachurbanmeyer.com” and they want Meyer to contribute to the website. Meyer can purchase the domain name from the school once his contract expires.
“Ohio State will work cooperatively with Coach to develop and implement a fundraiser to support the Shelley and Urban Meyer Foundation or other mutually-agreeable charity. The monies raised from such fundraiser will be allocated to support mutally-agreed Central Ohio charities.”
Although the Athletics Director has the final say on scheduling, Meyer has negotiated the right to have some input.
Yes, in the contract Coach is with a capital C.
And this is good to see: “Coach recognizes that the primary mission of Ohio State is to serve as an institution of higher learning….Coach recognizes that the goal of Ohio State is that every student-athlete obtain a baccalaureate degree.”
Finally, here’s Gene Smith’s reaction to Meyer’s new contract: