Analyzing buyouts at UNL

With the firing of Scott Frost comes a pay-out totaling $15 million. UNL is now reaching a total of more than $50 million in buy-outs dating back to 2005.
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -As Nebraska football begins a new chapter, many may be wondering where the University of Nebraska-Lincoln stands in terms of past buyouts and where the money to pay them comes from.

10/11 NOW dug through those numbers to break it all down and it may come as no surprise, but there’s been a lot of money forked over in the last 17 years.

With the firing of Scott Frost comes a pay-out totaling $15 million. UNL is now reaching a total of more than $50 million in buy-outs dating back to 2005.

According to one website Nebraska comes in second, only behind the University of Florida, in terms of total football severance paid since 2005.

Whether you wanted to see him stay, or couldn’t wait for him to be shown the door, Frost and his time at the helm of Nebraska football has come to an end, and in the end he’ll take $15 million by the time the dust settles. He’ll get $5 million for the next two seasons, and $2.5 million the following two seasons, fulfilling his buy-out by December 2026.

If the athletic department had waited until October to fire Frost, the buyout would’ve been cut in half. The University of Nebraska has seen several coaches leave over the last 15 years, including Bo Pelini, Mike Riley and basketball coaches Doc Sadler and Tim Miles.

According to Athletic Director U, when it comes to a combined average of basketball and football severances over the last 15 years, Nebraska spent nearly $28 million, more than any other school in the country.

In comparing severance packages of former Nebraska coaches, Frost will be paid more than double what Pelini and Riley brought in, which was more than $6 million each.

According to reports from 10/11 NOW in 2019, the University was caught up in paying buy-outs for coaches and athletic directors that were let got, including former athletic director Sean Eichorst, Pelini, and Riley. With Frost’s buy-out looming, 10/11 NOW asked NU Athletic Department how those buy-outs are funded. They said that all personnel-related expenses, including payouts of former employees, come directly from athletic department operating funds.

Those funds consist of money from ticket sales, sponsorships and lucrative T.V. deals for the Big Ten Conference. That funding from the athletic department is completely separate from the University, meaning it doesn’t include state funding or student fees.