Discussing contracts, Tressel calls the football market 'extraordinary'



Tressel earns a 200,000 bonus for getting the Buckeyes into a BCS game.
By ROB TODOR
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
PHOENIX -- Forget the national championship game. Forget about Troy Smith's Heisman Trophy.
The first question posed to Ohio State coach Jim Tressel on Wednesday was: "What do you think of Nick Saban's contract?"
Earlier in the day, Saban accepted a 30-million, eight-year offer from the University of Alabama to become its next football coach and leave the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.
"I guess that's fine," said Tressel, after the Buckeyes' practice at Pinnacle High School, about 35 miles from University of Phoenix Stadium, site of the Bowl Championship Series national championship game that will be played Monday night.
"That's obviously what he wants to do, and Alabama's a great place."
Tressel laughed when asked his salary upon taking over as head coach at Youngstown State in 1985.
"I think it was somewhere in the low 30s [thousand]," he said. "Shoot, we didn't have a budget of 4 million for the entire athletic department."
In May 2006, Tressel agreed to a new OSU contract that runs through the 2012 season.
Contract details
The deal was made retroactive to 2006. Tressel earned 1,878,900 this season (plus a 500,000 signing bonus). He is scheduled to earn 2,675,900 in the final year of the contract.
Those numbers include money Tressel receives from television and radio contracts, as well as the university's clothing deal with Nike.
The deal also includes a clause that, should the Buckeyes win the national championship, voids the contract.
He also earns a 200,000 bonus for getting the Buckeyes into a BCS game.
"I think the market has been extraordinary for a long time," said Tressel. "When coach [Earle] Bruce came to work here [in 1979] he was making 40,000, and that wasn't that long ago."
Tressel doesn't believe, though, that the Saban deal will trigger more megadeals around the country.
"I don't think it will have a ripple effect, because there aren't that many positions that you have to fill," he said. "There will be as many people saying, 'That's crazy; we'd never do that,' as the ones saying, 'Uh-oh, we'd better keep up with the market."
Just for the record, Florida coach Urban Meyer will receive a 375,000 bonus if the Gators win Monday night.
todor@vindy.com

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