After dragging Attorney General Leslie Rutledge into the mix, we still don’t know anything more than we did before about Bret Bielema’s contract.
Rutledge ruled earlier this week the Razorback Foundation could release the information about the buyout, but what we got was basically the same thing we’ve seen since former athletics director Jeff Long gave Bielema an extension back in February 2015.
ESPN, citing one anonymous source, reported Dec. 2 that Bielema and the athletic program agreed to an $11.8 million “negotiated buyout” that would be signed within a “few days.”
No one has been able to confirm that since then.
Now we find out, well, everybody is still trying to get things finalized, according to a story at WholeHogSports.com:
Scott Varady, the foundation’s executive director, said Thursday evening in a brief email that its release agreement with Bielema has not been finalized.
“I can share that we continue to work with Coach Bielema’s agent on the final release agreement,” Varady said. “We have not completed that process yet.”
Apparently, this has nothing to do with the UA, but is all being handled by the Foundation, according to the story:
UA Trustee Tommy Boyer said the university system’s governing board has not been part of the discussions.
“We haven’t been involved in that at all,” Boyer said. “It’s a deal between Bret Bielema and the foundation, not a deal between Bret Bielema and the University of Arkansas. We only deal with the University of Arkansas side, and the foundation has its own separate board of directors. They deal with that.”
What was released Thursday was the same agreement we’ve been seeing for months.
So the bottom line to all this is: It’s still being negotiated. Which means it would be interesting to see if Rutledge thinks the communication between all the parties should be public information.
If it was the UA doing it, we could see that communication. At the very least phone records would reveal a number of phone calls.
But that hasn’t happened yet.
So we still don’t know what we don’t know about Bielema’s final buyout numbers.