Florida Gators have spent more on football buyouts than anyone, study shows

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No program in the nation has spent as much on college football coaching buyouts than the Florida Gators, according to a study published over the weekend by AthleticDirectorU.

The site’s Andy Wittry looked at severance pay for Power Five football and basketball coaches and administrators over 15 years. The combined total: an astounding $492 million dollars, or an average of $759,000 per school per year — all to pay people not to coach.

The Gators spent the third-most overall in severance for those two sports ($25.3 million), behind only Nebraska ($27.9 million) and Auburn ($26.1).

On football alone, Florida spent almost $24.9 million on buyouts. That’s ahead of Nebraska ($24.3 million), Kansas ($23.7 million), Auburn ($21.4 million) and Tennessee ($20.2 million), according to the study. Jim McElwain’s buyout from UF was negotiated to $7.5 million; his predecessor, Will Muschamp, took about $6 million as he exited Gainesville.

Sixth on the football buyout list was Texas, which had to pay Charlie Strong about $9 million while he coached USF. The Bulls fired him after last season.

One unique tidbit found by the study’s examination of NCAA financial reports: Florida last spent $0 on severance pay in 2007.

The SEC, not surprisingly, had the highest average severance figures. The ACC was fourth.

Florida State did not crack the list of top spenders but probably will in a future updated study after firing coach Willie Taggart in November. The Seminoles would owe him about $18 million, although that’s subject to an offset by what he’ll make as the new coach at Florida Atlantic ($750,000 in base salary).


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