New Information Shows Bret Bielema’s Fate Is Almost Certainly Sealed

Bret Bielema (Credit: Getty Images/Wesley Hitt)

David Hookstead Sports And Entertainment Editor
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Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema may be heading to the unemployment line sooner than I expected if new information about his buyout is true.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Thursday morning that his buyout is less than $5.9 million, which is a lot lower than the widely reported $15 million.

The report reads in part:

Based on an evaluation of the contract by legal counsel for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Bielema would be owed a little less than $5.9 million in buyout payments if dismissed at the end of the season.

Bielema’s actual buyout is determined by a formula included within the language of his original deal, which was made effective Dec. 4, 2012, and signed the next August.

It uses the $15.4 million figure as a numerator and divides that by the total number of months (97) in the full term of his contract. That figure of $158,762.88, called the “monthly value of the total guaranty payment,” would then be multiplied by the remaining number of months on the contract, which runs through Dec. 31, 2020.

Based on that equation, Arkansas would owe Bielema about $5.874 million to terminate his contract after the season concludes Nov. 24, plus a prorated amount for any partial months of employment.

The news was also confirmed by a source of USA Today’s Dan Wolken.

This is bad news for my boy Bielema. The only thing that might have saved his job was the fact no school would want to pay a guy $15 million not to coach. That is a lot of money for any athletic program to stomach. Eating less than $6 million to dump a bad coach, however, happens all the time.

I was pretty confident Bielema would not be around by the start of next season, and that was when I believed his buyout would be $15 million. I’m way more confident now. If he gets rocked the rest of the way and finishes with only four wins, he might get fired at halftime of the final game.

As always, I’m looking for new talent on my team. Could a former SEC football coach be a solid content intern? I think it’d be worth a shot.

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