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Despite Tuberville quitting, Auburn will pay buyout

AUBURN, Ala. -- When Tommy Tuberville resigned, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs agreed to pay the $5.08 million buyout even though the football coach quit.

In the two-paragraph resignation letter dated Dec. 3, Tuberville wrote:

"This letter will confirm our recent conversations about my status as Head Football Coach. After long consideration, I have decided to resign. I understand that, notwithstanding my resignation, the University will make a total payment of $5,083,334 as outlined in Section 21 of my contract. I also understand that the structure and timing of the payments may be modified by mutual agreement.

I deeply appreciate the opportunity to serve as Head Coach at Auburn and will continue to support Auburn's Athletic Program in any way I can."

Jacobs wrote a one-word response: "Agreed."

Under the contract, Auburn was required to pay Tuberville millions to purchase the remainder of his time at Auburn if he were fired. The school was under no obligation to pay if he quit.

The university released a copy of the letter Thursday to The Associated Press. An Auburn spokeswoman said the letter and the coach's employment contract were the only documents surrounding Tuberville's departure, which some Tuberville supporters have said was a forced resignation.

University officials have said Tuberville quit after 10 years; his mother told a newspaper he was fired. Tuberville hasn't publicly explained why he decided to leave.