Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger made a couple of things evident in the contract he signed with KU football coach Charlie Weis: First, he is willing to pay big bucks for a winner in Memorial Stadium. And, second, he will make sure that KU is protected should Weis get happy feet in Lawrence.
KU released its agreement with Weis on Wednesday afternoon, confirming that Weis will make $12.5 million over five seasons. If Weis is fired, he will receive that entire sum as long as he is not terminated for cause. Former KU coach Turner Gill also had a guaranteed contract, which is why Kansas had to pay the remaining $6 million on his deal to fire him.
Zenger said last week that guaranteed contracts are the norm for big-name coaches like Weis.
Kansas also promised Weis that it will provide at least $2.1 million a year for assistant coaching salaries. That amounts to at least $4.6 million a year invested for Weis and his staff to fix the problems that have kept the Jayhawks out of a bowl game for the last three seasons.
With Weis having taken his third job since he was fired at Notre Dame in Dec. 2009, KU had reason to request a buyout from Weis if he were to leave KU before his five years are up.
Weis has to pay Kansas $2.5 million if he leaves for another job or terminates the agreement for another reason by Dec. 31, 2014. If Weis terminates the agreement between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2016, he has to pay KU $1.5 million.
Like most contracts, Weis' deal is laced with incentives:
* Five Big 12 wins yields $50,000. Each additional Big 12 win is $10,000.
* A Big 12 regular season championship yields $100,000.
* Bowl game participation yields $50,000. Win the bowl, it's an extra $25,000.
* BCS bowl game participation yields $100,000. A BCS bowl win brings an extra $50,000.
* An Associated Press national coach of the year award yields $75,000. Big 12 coach of the year brings $50,000.
* National championship game participation yields $200,000. Winning a national title brings $100,000.
In a given season, if Weis were to win five Big 12 games, take KU to a bowl game and win that contest, he would earn an extra $125,000. Kansas has only won five Big 12 games once, in 2007, and has been to just four bowl games during the Big 12 era.
Gill's future — Gill has been listed as a possible candidate at Liberty, a Football Championship Subdivision program in Lynchburg, Va., according to the Lynchburg News & Advance's Web site.