Amid the celebrations of Georgia’s basketball upsets of Georgia Tech and Tennessee this month, some of you asked: What’s the buyout in Mark Fox’s contract?
The question, of course, conveyed concern that a Basketball School might swoop in before too long and try to hire Fox away from UGA.
The answer, you’ll be glad to know if you don’t already, is that Fox’s contract carries a large buyout.
An unusually large buyout.
The contract would require Fox to pay UGA $2 million within 45 days if he resigns at any time before the six-year deal expires on March 15, 2015.
The buyout, negotiated when Fox was hired last spring, reflected UGA’s desire to make it as difficult as possible for a successful coach to leave. And Fox’s willing acceptance of the unusually large buyout clause backed up his statements that he saw Georgia as a place where he and his family would put down roots.
In addition to the buyout, Fox’s 27-page contract also includes a $600,000 “longevity bonus” that the coach would forfeit if he left before March 15, 2015.
So, basically, there’s a $2.6 million disincentive to leave.
All of which is to say . . . if someone tries to hire Fox away, it’d have to be someone with very deep pockets.
As for salary, the contract pays Fox $1.2 million per year — $250,000 in base salary, $500,000 for radio/TV shows and other appearances, $150,000 for conducting camps and $300,000 in supplemental income related to equipment and apparel deals. Add another $100,000 per year from the longevity bonus.
The contract states that the base salary, radio/TV income and supplemental income will be reviewed on an annual basis. Those amounts can be increased, but not decreased, upon each review.
The contract also specifies a long list of performance bonuses that would reward Fox for team success. Such bonuses include $25,000 for being named the SEC Coach of the Year, $25,000 for winning the SEC East regular-season title, $75,000 for winning the SEC Tournament, $150,000 for winning the NCAA championship, etc.
Oh yes, the contract also provides Fox free use of two cars. Which brings me to Pat Forde’s column on ESPN.com yesterday. Under the heading “Coach who earned his comp car this week,” Forde wrote:
Georgia’s Mark Fox took over a struggling program and hasn’t seemed to notice that the Bulldogs are supposed to be terrible. Fox’s team drilled No. 8 Tennessee on Saturday and upset rival Georgia Tech a couple of weeks ago. In between, UGA played Kentucky closer than anyone else has to date in the SEC, and they lost close games to Ole Miss and Mississippi State. At this rate, Georgia has a shot at a wholly unlikely .500 league record.
Next up: at Florida tonight.
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