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Minnesota Board of Regents approves P.J. Fleck contract extension

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Fleck is officially extended through 2022.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s official. Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck’s contract extension was unanimously approved by the Board of Regents today. The vote means that Coach Fleck is under contract until January 31st of 2023 (i.e. through the 2022 season). Here are the key details of the agreement:

  • Coach Fleck’s original deal was for 5 years, ending after the 2021 season. The extension adds 1 year to this contract which will now end after the 2022 season.
  • Coach Fleck’s year one salary was $3.5 million, but there was a yearly $50,000 automatic raise included in the terms. This means that Coach Fleck will making $3.75 million in the new final year of his deal.
  • Fleck’s buyout has not changed. Here’s how it works:

Coach Fleck’s buyout is a set yearly value that is reduced after each year of the contract. It is not a simple (X years times base salary) equation. Instead, each year of the contract is assigned an independent buyout amount. The total owed is the sum of the buyout values for the remaining years on the contract. Here are the yearly amounts owed:

Year 1: $3.5 million

Year 2: $3.5 million

Year 3: $2.5 million

Year 4: $1.5 million

Year 5: $1.5 million

How does this work in practice? If Fleck is fired after the first 3 years of his contract, the U would owe him the sum of the buyout amount for year 4 ($1.5 million) and year 5 ($1.5 million), for a total buyout of $3 million. If he was fired midway through a contract year (say year 3) then the total would be half of the amount owed for year 3 ($1.25 million) plus the sum of years 4 and 5 ($3 million), for a total buyout of $4.25 million.

  • The original deal said that Fleck would be owed $12.5 million if they were fired within the first year of his deal with that amount stepping down to $1.5 million if they do so in the last year of the deal. The extension essentially starts the clock over, with Fleck owed the $12.5 if fired within the next year and stepped down to $1.5 million if fired during 2022
  • The same is true of the buyout Fleck owes Minnesota if he leaves. If P.J. leaves within the next year he would have to give back $5 million with that amount stepping down to $1 million in 2022.
  • Fleck is being given access to better recruiting resources.

With the extension, the U also clarified that Fleck can spend more than the contractually approved 60 hours a year traveling on private aircraft to recruit players, but if he does so, that cost must be covered by donors.

BREAKING: BOR members can be dumb too

Also, according to Doogie, there was a bit of drama leading up to the unanimous vote with two Regents threatening to vote against.

FIRE TAKE INCOMING. These regents are grandstanding fools. And they’re not even good at grandstanding, cause they didn’t stick with it. There’s only one reason to oppose the extension, the cost of the buyout. And ultimately that doesn’t make sense. Worst case scenario is Fleck fired after 2019. In that case, this extension will cost the school an extra $3.5 million. That is NOT not a small number. It is also dwarfed by the TV money the school will be pulling in at the same time. Come the end of 2019, Minnesota should be receiving 7 to 10 times that amount PER YEAR in TV revenue alone from the Big Ten. In other words, the school could handle it if Fleck fails to improve the product on the field over the next 2 seasons.

TL;DR

Fleck’s extension is official. The buyout from the original contract is essentially starting over for the next 5 years. The U has some dumb Regents.