If Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich ends up getting permanently dismissed from his job, football coach Bobby Petrino would have his buyout cut in half.
Jurich was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday as a result of an FBI investigation into fraud and corruption in college basketball recruiting. Louisville's men's basketball program and its coach, Rick Pitino, have been implicated. Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave.
Though football isn't involved in the federal investigation, what happens with Jurich will ultimately affect Petrino. When Jurich rehired Petrino in 2014, he and the university were adamant about placing steep buyout provisions into the contract.
Petrino left his first stint at Louisville in 2006 for the Atlanta Falcons, a job he left after less than a year to return to college coaching. He was fired at Arkansas in 2012 after a motorcycle accident uncovered an affair with a staffer in the football department.
Underneath all the buyout terms in the contract, there is a paragraph that states: "Each of the amounts set forth shall be reduced by 50 percent if at the time payment is due, Tom Jurich is not the Athletic Director of the University."
If Petrino were to leave before June 30, 2018, and Jurich is not the athletic director, his buyout would go from $8 million to $4 million. The buyout number decreases from there and bottoms out at $5 million for the final three years of the deal, which goes until 2023. That means Petrino would owe $2.5 million if he leaves near the end of the contract.
Asked on the ACC coaches teleconference Wednesday about his relationship with Jurich, Petrino said, "He's been unbelievable [with] what he's done here at the university and all the facilities for all sports. You know, you see what we've done with being able to create a competitiveness with every sport on campus."