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Scott Frost’s Contract: The Sparknotes Version

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In case you didn’t feel like reading the contract, I did it for you

Is Sparknotes still a thing?

In my line of work I read contracts on a relatively frequent basis, so when Scott Frost’s contract became public (as a result of being a public employee) I thought I’d read it to see how different the contract for the head football coach of Nebraska would be compared to other contracts I have read.

This is the only contract of a college football coach I have ever read. So what I think is interesting might be par for the course for every college football coach in the country.

So here we go...

CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT: Head Football Coach, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Term of Contract: Coach Frost’s term as head football coach commenced at 12:01 a.m. on December 3th, 2017 in which he was a half-time employee (.49 FTE) until midnight following the Peach Bowl. As of midnight following the Peach Bowl, he became a full time employee (1.0 FTE) up and until December 31st, 2024 at midnight.

Annual Salary and Compensation: Base Guaranteed Salary of $5,000,000. Coach Frost’s salary shall be paid in 12 equal monthly installments. Thus, he is paid $416,666.67 per month.

Duties: Coaching the football team and appearing on radio and appearances in Athletics’ HuskerVision produced coaches shows.

Employment of Assistant Coaches: Coach Frost shall be provided an annual base salary budget of up to $5,000,000 for 10 assistant coaches and a head strength and conditioning coach. The terms of the Assistant Coach’s contracts shall not exceed two years.

If Frost Resigns Prior to End of the Term of the Contract (a.k.a. the Buyout): Coach Frost shall pay as liquidated damages (which is an amount previously agreed upon so litigation in the future is less likely) an amount equal to $2,500,000.00 for each year remaining on his contract, which would be prorated on a daily basis for any partial year. Coach Frost shall make annual payments.

However, if Frost takes another job and the subsequent employer agrees to pay the liquidated damages, then it needs to be paid in one lump sum within 60 days of resignation.

If Frost Retires: If he resigns for the purposes of a good-faith retirement then no liquidated damages is owed. However if he changes his mind and takes a job with a NCAA Division 1 program or in the NFL prior to the end of the term then the damages would be reinstated.

If Frost is Fired, Not For Cause: For any years prior to December 31st, 2022 the University would have to pay him his full $5,000,000.00 salary. However, for any years following 2022, he is only entitled to half of his salary (so $2,500,000.00).

If he finds new employment in football then his salary is reduced by the amount he is being paid by the new employer for the term of the contract, or they can make one lump sum payment based on a couple of factors.

Payment to the University of Central Florida: The University authorized a “reimbursable employee expense” in the amount of $3,000,000.00 to UCF.

Performance Bonuses Regarding the Big 10 Conference Accomplishments: Scott Frost will be entitled to ONE of the following:

  • If Nebraska wins or ties for the West Division Title, regardless if Nebraska actually goes to the Big 10 Conference Championship Game: $100,000.00,
  • If Nebraska actually appears in the Big Ten Championship Game: $200,000.00,
  • If Nebraska Wins the Big Ten Championship Game: $300,000.00.

Performance Bonuses Regarding Post Season Bowl Games and Playoffs Accomplishments: Scott Frost will be entitled to ONE of the following:

  • Appears in any bowl game which is not a part of the College Football Playoff: $150,000.00,
  • Appears in any College Football Playoff Bowl Game: $250,000.00,
  • Appears in College Football Playoff Semi-Final Game: $300,000.00,
  • Appears in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game: $350,000.00,
  • Wins the College Football Playoff National Championship Game: $650,000.00.

Clauses in the contract I personally found interesting.

  1. Coach agrees that academic progress and achievement of student-athletes is of the highest importance.
  2. Coach must obtain approval from Bill Moos is he were to engage in any activities in which he would be paid in some way as a result of being the Head Football Coach. For an enforcement mechanism, Coach Frost will have to file a personal financial statement with the Athletic Director which discloses all of his athletically related income from sources both within and outside of the University. This financial statement will not be public record.
  3. Coach Frost’s personal records of coaching like his personal notes, playbooks or signaling systems is entirely his own to retain. However, the University and Coach Frost are equally entitled to copies any work product developed by him and his staff like imported game/practice/clinic film, created game/practice/clinic film; and recruiting files.
  4. Every year during the term of the contact, Coach Frost and his immediate family is entitled to twenty hours of private non-commercial flight time for personal use. However, he will have to pay income taxes on the fair market value of the use of the private plane.