The seat under Derek Dooley is getting hotter and hotter with each loss that the Vols suffer. And though, Nick Saban thinks Dooley “is doing a fantastic job”, we’ll go out on a limb and say that folks in Knoxville don’t quite agree.
So that leads us to the decision that Tennessee will be forced to make at the end of the season. Do they keep Dooley and deal with the possible backlash from fans and boosters? Or do they can Dooley and take their chances of luring a big name to Rocky Top?
It’s unclear which way the university is leaning at the moment, but if they choose the second option, it’s going to cost them a good chunk of money according to the News Sentinel.
UT would have to pay at least $5.6 million, and perhaps as much as $9.3 million, over the next four years to buy out Derek Dooley and his coaching staff, according to an analysis of employment contracts by the News Sentinel.
All but one of Dooley’s nine on-field assistants are working under multiyear contracts, including defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri, Tennessee’s highest-paid assistant.
But the payouts to fired coaches could vary based on how quickly they find other employment and how much they are paid in their new jobs.
The university would owe Dooley $5 million, or roughly $102,040 per month, through December 2016. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney would be owed about $645,000, spread over monthly payments through December 2013.
That money is guaranteed, meaning any future employment wouldn’t affect their payouts from Tennessee.
The biggest expense would be Sunseri, who would be due another $1.84 million through February 2015 if he were dismissed in December. Tennessee could be on the hook for much of that contract if Sunseri is unable to find another position as lucrative.
The total value of Tennessee’s conditional obligations to the coaching staff is $3.71 million. Add that to the guaranteed payouts to Dooley and Chaney, and it’s a daunting total.
The total may be daunting, but this is SEC football. Tennessee has the money and will spend it if need be.