Dooley's buyout costs UT and football program millions

Dooley's buyout costs UT and football program millions

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University officials say Dooley's contract included a five million dollar bailout. Sunday's decision leaves the athletics department with little cash to spare. University officials say Dooley's contract included a five million dollar bailout. Sunday's decision leaves the athletics department with little cash to spare.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

Many fans were ready for Derek Dooley to go, but at what cost to the football program?

University officials say Dooley's contract included a five million dollar bailout. There's also no mitigation clause, which means if Dooley were to get a new job tomorrow, UT would still owe him the full buyout.

UT is following IRS rules. They are putting Dooley's five million into an escrow account so that it can be drawn down over time.

It's the same thing UT did with former coach Phillip Fulmer. Next month, Fulmer's six million dollar buyout will be paid in full. Fulmer has been receiving more than 120 thousand dollars a month since 2008.

It's also what UT did for Todd Raleigh, Bruce Pearl and Mike Hamilton. Buyouts have cost the athletics department more than nine million dollars in the past five years.

Unfortunately for Dooley, UT doesn't have much money left to pay.

"We have a 1.9 million dollar reserve. Which in the SEC is really unheard of. We compete against people who have reserves of 50 to 100 plus million dollars. So we're in a tough place financially," said Dave Hart, the Athletic Director.

University officials tell Hart that the athletic department will still have enough financial resources to compete. This could soon mean the end of the athletic department's annual six million dollar gift to academics.

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