College football in Texas is rarely short of drama, and the recent Charlie Strong saga has been a veritable telenovela full of rumors, protests, sadness, and loss. Longhorn fans who supported Strong (many of whom were members of his team) finally closed that chapter of UT history in late November when Strong was fired from his head coaching job. And just like that, with no mourning period whatsoever, Houston’s Tom Herman was moved into the main house, with all the heartbroken children, and given a fat contract of at least $25 million over the next five years, reports the Associate Press. Scandoloso!!Of course, Herman has to meet some milestones if he wants to rake in extra dough; he has to keep up his figurenot get fired, for one. If he manages that, his annual salary will start at $5.25 million and increase to $6.25 million by year five. There’s also a $1 million bonus potential on the table if he’s still employed by Christmas 2019 and bonuses of up to $575,000 per season for on-field performance that ranges from playing in bowl games to winning a national championship. There’s also the potential for another $150,000 for national coach of the year recognition.
“We’ve got a great coach,” Texas president Greg Fenves said. “It’s a very fair contract, fair to him and fair to the university.”
The details of the contract came after a unanimous vote, with regent Wallace Hall abstaining.
That’s a whole lot of millions to be pulling out of the UT athletics coffers, but those aren’t the only payments UT athletics will be making. Charlie Strong needs those alimony payments, aka the payout of his remaining contract that comes in at a whopping $10 million for the remaining two years of his five-year contract. And that’s not the end of the check-writing that needs to be done — Texas would also need to buy out Herman’s contract from Houston, requiring a $2.5 million payment. The program also still owes Strong’s staff another $6 million for their multi-year contracts. Some of that money, though not all, would be reduced if Strong and his former staff find new jobs.Here’s hoping the next few years of Texas football turns out to be more like “Friday Night Lights” and less like “The Apprentice.” Featured photo from Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons licensed