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  • Kevin Scarbinsky

Buyout madness: That's no way to run a business

What is Bryan Harsin's status at Nebraska? It was the wrong question, of course, a graphic mistake flashed on the screen during the season's first edition of ESPN's College GameDay. A subsequent decision in Lincoln and potential developments on the Plains could make that question seem prophetic, but that would be a headline for another day.


So why mention the Auburn coach ahead of a rather big game against Penn State in the same breath as a Nebraska program that jump-started this year's coaching carousel Sunday when it whacked Scott Frost? Auburn and Nebraska have nothing in common at the moment, do they?


You would think so. You would be wrong.


Quick. Name the two Power 5 public schools that spent the most money on severance payments for football and men's basketball coaches in the 15-year period from 2005-19. That's right. Nebraska, former home of Bill Callahan, Bo Pelini and Mike Riley - and that's just football - is No. 1, having handed out $27.9 million in that stretch to coaches not to coach.


Auburn was No. 2 with $26.2 million in lovely parting gifts to Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik, Jeff Lebo, Tony Barbee and their staffs. Since the study was done by Athletic Director U - a learning platform for the collegiate athletics industry - in 2020, that total doesn't include the majority of the $21.45 million buyout already dispensed to Gus Malzahn to send his bus down the road. ...


Read more of Kevin's look at one-sided coaching contracts. Only in The Lede.

Auburn is paying Gus Malzahn $21.45 million not to coach football at Auburn. (al.com photo)