Here's Bret Bielema's termination letter | Arkansas Blog

Friday, November 24, 2017

Here's Bret Bielema's termination letter

Posted By on Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 7:06 PM

Loose ends remain to be tied up about Bret Bielema's firing as head football coach, including what payout he'll be due and what happens to his roster of assistant coaches.

I've sent a variety of FOI requests for information and so far, have produced this (though university officials note the campus is closed until Monday). So far only his termination letter, note that a referece in the letter indicates this wouldn't have been a surprise to the coach:


I should add, because UA officials have made this point, that the private Razorback Foundation is the guarantor of Bielema's buyout and responsible under his contract for paying what he's due. I haven't heard from them yet on a request for information. They are looking between fired AD Jeff Long and Bielema at a couple of a million a year in payments out of their receipts to meet the maximum terms of buyouts (which could be reduced by new job income). But the Foundation has said previously it is in sound financial shape from contributions and payments for premium seats and suites at Hog athletic events.

Interim Athletic Director Julie Cromer Peoples is to take questions at 7:30 p.m.

Social media is running strong for Bret. He won the news conference. And the speedy — if long expected — firing is gettng some fan heat. But 4-8 in your fifth year at $4.2 million a year? It's not a recipe for a return invitation.

Update: Cromer Peoples said she’d lead the job search. Paul Rhoads is named interim coach.

PS: When the Democrat-Gazette reported that it had a legal analysis putting Bielema's contract buyout at $5.9 million, I remarked that I was confident the Bielema side would have a different interpretation. Indeed, there's a separate undisclosed contract with the Razorback Foundation that apparently will produce buyout benefits as well, perhaps in the range of $5 to $6 million. It never made sense that Bielema would give up a buyout that once maxed at more than $15 million in return for a drop to less than $6 million. Whether the Foundation will ever disclose its obligation, beyond any required payments disclosed on its annual tax filing, which is open to the public, remains to be seen.

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