Ohio State University signed former University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer to a six-year contract worth a minimum of $24.25 million over six years. That doesn’t include additional perks worth millions of dollars — like access to a private airplane. Or another $7.5 million in bonuses for sticking around at Ohio State, making bowl appearances or having the team reach certain academic goals.
Meyer’s compensation, which puts him in the upper echelon of coach compensation, is evidence of escalation in the college football arms race. Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee said Meyer will be the fourth-highest paid coach in the nation. Meyer will make more than three times more than Gee, and $250,000 more than former coach Jim Tressel would have earned this season.
Scroll down to read Meyer’s actual terms of employment.
Beyond his base salary and bonuses, Meyer gets:
- A $250,000 cash advance plus $250,000 for moving expenses;
- A car allowance of $1,200 per month;
- Membership at a “mutually-agreed upon” golf course;
- Use of a private plane for any business or recruiting trips more than 200 miles from Columbus, plus access to the plane for personal use;
- Twelve tickets to each home football game plus the opportunity to buy up to 20 more tickets, five press-booth credentials, a private suite at games for his family, and two tickets for each home men’s basketball game; and
- The opportunity to earn additional money by promoting or participating in summer football camps.
Back in August, university President E. Gordon Gee called the system for compensating college football coaches “broken.” When Meyer signed his contract on Monday, Gee’s message was different:
On Monday, Mr. Gee called Mr. Meyer’s contract “a mark of our dignity and nobility.”
“I’m not certain I’ve ever made as much as a football coach,” Mr. Gee said in a telephone interview. “We live in a world of markets and opportunities. A number of surgeons here make more than I do. I’m about having the best physics faculty, the best medical school faculty and the best football coach.”
Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer’s Terms of Employment