Greg Schiano would have earned $27.7 million in a proposed deal of six-plus years with Tennessee before the deal fell apart because of uproar from fans and on social media.
The school on Monday released a copy of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between John Currie, who has since been replaced by Phillip Fulmer as athletic director, and Schiano.
ESPN had reported last month that the MOU was never signed by Chancellor Beverly Davenport, which was likely to lead to a battle over whether Tennessee owed Schiano any money.
The MOU, which ESPN obtained through an open records request, says the terms are binding and does not say that the lack of a signature by any party makes it invalid. But a spokesperson for the school said the document also was never signed by Tennessee's chief financial officer, David Miller, which the school says makes the contract invalid.
The document was signed by Currie and e-signed by Schiano, who had been scheduled to fly to Knoxville, Tennessee, from Columbus, Ohio, the night of Nov. 26 to be introduced as coach.
But the school announced it was no longer pursuing Schiano after protests on campus and social media posts raised questions about Schiano's past as an assistant coach at Penn State.
It is still not known whether Schiano is making any kind of claim based on what was represented to him. If he believes he was in fact hired, and then fired without cause, he would be owed 75 percent of the contract, which would equal $20.7 million.
Attempts to contact Schiano's agent, Jimmy Sexton, were unsuccessful. Currie, who hasn't spoken publicly since the school replaced him with Fulmer, did not return a message seeking comment.
Currie continued the coaching search for another four days, but after being turned down by several candidates for the job, the school decided to replace him.
Tennessee hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as its new coach on Thursday.