Foundation, Bielema reach agreement on buyout

PHOTO BY ANDY HODGES | HitThatLine.com Bret Bielema stands in the south end zone at Razorback Stadium as his players leave the field following a 48-45 loss to Missouri on Saturday night.

Former head coach Bret Bielema will be getting over $320,000 a month through 2020 to NOT coach the Razorbacks.

Bielema’s buyout with Arkansas has been finalized at $11.935 million, according to an announcement from the Razorback Foundation on Tuesday.

The agreement comes more than two months after Bielema was fired following a season-ending loss to Missouri and after several more months of confusion over the amount he would be due if fired for convenience.

Bielema will receive the buyout in monthly payments of $320,833.33 through Dec. 31, 2020, but that amount can be reduced if he is hired by another school or finds another job. The agreement requires Bielema “to diligently seek and to obtain other employment.”

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“We are appreciative of the way Coach Bielema and his representatives at NC Sports, Neil Cornrich and Jonathan Hurst, cooperated in developing the necessary mechanism to implement the monthly guaranty payments while reducing them based upon other sources of income Coach Bielema earns in the future,” Razorback Foundation executive director Scott Varady said in a statement. “Both parties worked in good faith to complete this agreement.”

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The buyout was originally reported to be $15.4 million, but the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported during the season that it could be closer to $6 million based on language in his contract.

There was no official statement from the UA or Razorback Foundation about the buyout until Tuesday’s press release.

“I wish Razorback Athletics and the Razorback Foundation continued success in the years ahead,” Bielema said in a statement. “I also want to express my gratitude to all the passionate Razorback fans I had the pleasure to meet at Razorback Clubs in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma during my tenure as head football coach. Having completed this agreement, I am pleased to move forward in my career and am excited about the future.”

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Bielema compiled a 29-34 overall record, including an 11-29 mark in SEC play, during his five-year tenure with the Razorbacks.

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