Eye on Education

Read Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer’s $24 Million Contract

Jamie Sabau / Getty Images

Urban Meyer speaks to the media after being introduced as the new head coach of Ohio State football on November 28, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio

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



  • Dwightdettloff

    I think the article should state “A $250,000 cash advance plus $250,000 for moving expenses.”

    • Anonymous

      Yup, that’s right. We had a typo in an earlier version of this story. Sorry about that.

  • Diane Tracy

    this is just obscene. I don’t even know what else to say about it.

    Not to mention the slap to Florida for leaving to spend more time with his family. Guess Dadding wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?

    And we teach our children: work hard. study harder. do your very best in school. And maybe you can earn $60,000.

  • Stracaks

    I bet he would have done it for 23 million!

  • Cavysnlabys

    If we don’t respect Gordon Gee enough to give him $24 million for running the largest university in the United States, let’s at least respect him enough to give him the proper honorific, “DR.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/janet.rund Janet Perkins Rund

    Well this is what is wrong with our world. Plain and simple.

  • Jay Mark

    What do you expect from a school that sanctions lying to the NCAA about a head coach lying to keep his most important players eligible, then lying again to keep them eligible for a bowl game and then dismisses other NCAA violations as isolated incidents of same athletes who were stealing and selling equipment for tattoos and cars and taking honorariums for attending “charity” events. Its all about the money and winning at all costs in Columbus and with the NCAA. Institutional cheating is allowed if they bring the money. The NCAA loves the money the system brings in and will not apply any sanctions that could disrupt their gravy train. The pay is on par with what SEC coaches have been getting for a long time and they bring in the money to the schools.

  • Di

    No wonder Ohio State can’t afford GOOD security for it’s students!!

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