Bo Pelini buyout takes a bite out of Nebraska

Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst may need a new calculator. It’s possible that his old desk model shattered into pieces in the parking lot below when he hurled it from the window in his office after examining the dollar amounts owed to Bo Pelini over the next four years.

The Omaha World-Herald had some fun with numbers this week after reporting on the final terms of Pelini’s buyout.

Eichorst knew when he fired Pelini in November that Nebraska would have to pay big bucks. The coach's contract called for a payment of nearly $8 million, divided monthly until February 2019 and subject to the terms of his future employment.

Well, that employment as coach at FCS-level Youngstown State worked out financially well for Pelini. He comes at a low cost to the Penguins and, as a result, keeps Nebraska, for which Pelini harbors no fond feelings, on the hook for more than $6.5 million.

Nebraska can handle the burden. But the monthly checks will, no doubt, hurt to issue to a coach who trashed his former program on the way out of town in December.

And when breaking down the numbers -- not a good idea for Nebraska administrators -- it stings more. From the World-Herald report, Nebraska will pay Pelini $4,212.99 per day. That's $12.29 per minute or 20.4 cents per second.

He earns equal to the average annual income of a Nebraskan in less than 40 hours.

OK, enough. It's not new news; just a new way to look at it.

Here's what I take, though, from this latest spin on Pelini's departure: In the early days of Bo, he was lauded at Nebraska for being a regular guy. And often when you met Pelini, despite his surly reputation, or saw him away from the gridiron, he talked and looked like a normal guy, eating with Nebraskans at restaurants and watching his kids play sports in the community.

But he was never normal. Not in the way people wanted from the head coach. No one in position to earn more than $700 per hour for more than four years after his termination can be considered normal.

Don't blame Pelini. Nebraska wrote the contract.

It's much the same with new coach Mike Riley, the unwavering nice guy who earns $2.7 million annually, with built-in raises every year of $100,000. He could go 5-7 in his first season and would still get the $100,000 bump in salary next year.

Is that normal? No, but it's illustrative of the climate in college football -- shattered calculators and all.