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Bobby Petrino’s crazy buyout could keep him at Louisville

Bobby Petrino has one of the most ridiculous contracts in college football, and it could save his job amid a disastrous year.

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Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Bobby Petrino and the University of Louisville Football team are having a bad 2018 season.

It also seems as if they have yet to adapt to a team that does not include former Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson. Even when the 2-4 Louisville Cardinals have won (which hasn’t been much), they haven’t looked good in doing so, and many are crying for Petrino to get fired, especially after their 66-31 loss to 3-3 Georgia Tech.

However, with Petrino’s very unusual contract deal, he could honestly not worry about being under any scrutiny, as he will get the better end of the deal even if he does end up getting fired from the University of Louisville.

If Louisville was to fire Petrino during the 2018 season or even shortly after, the University could potentially owe him up to $14 million dollars in buyout money. Former UofL Athletic Director, Tom Jurich, gave Petrino a 7-year contract extension back in 2016, so he is currently under contract with Louisville until the year 2023.

If Louisville was to fire Petrino without cause (for example: losing too many games) then the University has to pay him the guaranteed money owed to him for the remainder of that year and the three years following. But if they were to fire him in the final three years of his deal, then they would just have to pay him the remainder of his contract.

Petrino’s contract also includes a $500,000 annual payment when Louisville’s Academic Progress Report (APR) score is above 935. Right now, his team is above that mark (as is almost every other Division I program).

Petrino’s pay for the 2018 season, including the APR bonus he’s owed, comes out to be around $4.475 million and if Louisville indeed fired him on December 1st which would be right after the season they would owe him $4.025 million for the 2019 season, $4.075 million for the 2020 season, and $4.125 million for the 2021 season that’s a combined $12.225 million.

Also, the school would still have to pay him whatever remains on his base pay of $3,975,000 for the 2018 season and if he’s fired starting December 1st that leaves a whole month of pay that would be around $331,000 on top of everything else.

Depending on how the APR plays out, Petrino’s buyout could come out around a whopping $14.1 million. That’s roughly a top 15 all-time buyout according to USA Today’s list that is from 2017, and you would think that coaches that have buyouts that big shouldn’t be fired in the first place.