Paying SEC coaches to go away

Former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley didn’t stay unemployed for long.

He’s taken a job with the Dallas Cowboys as their receivers coach. Obviously, Dooley won’t make the kind of money he did as the Vols’ head coach ($2 million per year), but he’s also not hurting for dough. He walked away from Tennessee with a $5 million buyout.

The money that SEC schools have paid out to coaches just to go away over the past six years is staggering.

Ole Miss just recently settled with former coach Houston Nutt and paid Nutt a lump sum of $4.35 million to complete its remaining financial obligation to Nutt, who had a $6 million buyout payable over five years when he was fired toward the end of the 2011 season.

Ole Miss saved $500,000 by negotiating the $4.35 million lump sum with Nutt.

If you go back to the end of the 2007 season when Nutt received a $3.5 million settlement after he and Arkansas parted ways, SEC schools have doled out a staggering $38.65 million in buyouts.

That’s right, nearly $40 million for coaches not to coach.

And that’s just the head coaches.

Granted, just about all of these settlements were payable in installments that were spread out over several years.

Still …

Here’s a rundown:

  • Houston Nutt, Arkansas (2007) -- $3.5 million

  • Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State (2008) -- $3.5 million

  • Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee (2008) -- $6 million

  • Tommy Tuberville, Auburn (2008) -- $5.1 million

  • Houston Nutt, Ole Miss (2011) -- $5.5 million

  • Gene Chizik, Auburn (2012) -- $7.5 million

  • Derek Dooley, Tennessee (2012) -- $5 million

  • Joker Phillips, Kentucky (2012) -- $2.55 million