It’s one thing to talk about what you want to see happen. It’s another to do it.
In the two years since Hunter Yurachek have arrived in Arkansas, he’s talked about the need to halt the practice of paying obscene coaching buyouts for coaches who have failed to produce wins. Yurachek was almost surely talking about the ridiculous buyouts of Bret Bielema, Gus Malzahn, Jimbo Fisher and, of course, Chad Morris. The list goes on.
Yurachek also admitted that the University of Arkansas couldn’t do it alone because it would put us at a competitive disadvantage. Turns out, he was right on both counts.
He found a partner in this quest in Sam Pittman. Not only is this good for college football, but it’s further evidence that Pittman was not lying when he said he wanted the job. That’s good for us.
DETAILS OF SAM PITTMAN’S CONTRACT:
—$3 million per year
—$250,000 bonus for winning 6 games
—$500,000 bonus for winning 7 games
—$750,000 bonus for winning 8 games
—1 year extension for a bowl game
—1 year extension for another bowl game
If he leaves voluntarily:
—Before 12/1/21: owes us $6 million
—Between 12/1/21 and 12/2/22: owes us $3 million
—Between 12/2/22 and end of 5 year contract: owes us $1.5 million
If we fire him:
—We pay him 75% of his remaining annual salary if he wins more than 50% of his games
—We pay him 50% of his remaining annual salary if he wins less than 50% of his games
There are other incentives for reaching bowl games, college playoffs, or awards like Coach of the Year, etc.
RAISE YOUR HAND:
I’d like to see a show of hands if your bonus is determined by the amount of value you’ve added to your company. WOW!!!! Look at all the hands in the air.
Is this not the way it’s supposed to be?
In this country we don’t make it a habit to reward failure. We never have. There are some cases where CEOs of large corporations get “golden parachutes,” but rewarding failure runs against the grain of capitalism — and capitalism has driven America to become the greatest country on Earth.
—As Gordon Gekko said in Wall Street, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
—Plus, getting “free money” always costs someone (for instance, the Razorback Foundation and its contributors)
Hunter Yurachek has made two great hires in Eric Musselman and Sam Pittman and may have started something of a movement by how Pittman’s contract is structured. Perhaps others will follow his lead. I don’t know.
What I do know is that a way of conducting business that allows for Chad Morris (fired after 22 games) to make the same base salary as Ed Orgeron (probably going to win the National Championship) is a broken business model. It’s pure lunacy.
I’m not advocating for any kind of compensation rules in college coaching. Every university’s business is their own business. However, other athletic directors might want to take note of how Hunter has handled it. It might send a message to the Jimmy Sextons of the world that coaching should not be seen as a mercenary mission.
Of course, it takes a coach willing to accept an offer below the industry standard because he wants to truly be at the university in question, which is the case for Pittman. And, don’t get me wrong. A $3 million per year base salary would make just about anyone’s eyes light up, especially when coming from a $900,000 per year job and especially when there are performance incentives.
It’s not like Pittman is taking a vow of poverty.
Even if he doesn’t win a game next year, he’s still a millionaire. Still, I don’t believe it’s the money that made him tear up when he spoke at his introduction event. It’s something far more important.
Helluva job, Hunter Yurachek!!!
Watch how much the job means to Sam Pittman at 1:45 below: