Bret Bielema is back in college as a head coach and apparently he was willing to settle in the middle to get rid of a lawsuit in Arkansas, we found out Friday.
It was the last vestige of Jeff Long’s stupidity in doing contracts with no adult supervision and the Razorback Foundation was probably glad to cut the check for slightly over $3.5 million which is about half of what he was due.
Bielema obviously didn’t want to deal with anymore. After all that (assuming both sides in the lawsuits have to pay their own attorneys), he’ll probably end up with less than $1 million in the bank (don’t forget taxes).
It really doesn’t matter.
He was hired as the head coach at Illinois just a couple of weeks after his buyout period with the Hogs ended and they are paying him $4.2 million a year to try and pull that program out of the ditch in the Big Ten.
None of that matters to Razorback fans, of course.
The Foundation quit paying Bielema in December 2019 after it became clear he didn’t have a whole lot of interest in pursuing a decent job to offset what he was getting from Arkansas.
They had a pretty good argument for breach of contract that required him to at least try to do something other than be Bill Belichick’s errand boy in New England. It was a typical business move that forced Bielema to get some lawyers involved.
After a 31-7 win over Texas in Houston at the Texas Bowl, a giddy Long gave a .500 coach a six-year contract extension with a ridiculous buy-out amount.
At the time I said that was the dumbest thing I’d ever seen done with a contract at the UA. By rewarding mediocrity, Long set the program on a path they haven’t dug out of since, compounding the problem with two years of Chad Morris.
But now all of that is over. Bielema didn’t need any distractions with the task he’s got ahead of him in Illinois.
So everybody wished everybody the best of luck in the future although the truth is neither side really cares what the other does.
But both sides can claim a win.
The lawyers wouldn’t have it any other way.