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Dooley, UT Still Haggling Over Buyout Clauses

Last week, Tennessee announced that new football coach Derek Dooley will be paid $1.8 million this year as part of his six-year contract with the school.

But while Dooley has signed the dreaded “memo of understanding,” Jimmy Hyams of Knoxville radio station WNML-AM reports that there’s still a hang-up over the buyout clauses in the actual contract.

At issue is the buyout that Dooley would have to pay UT should he decide to split town ahead of schedule, a la Lane Kiffin. 

Tennessee wants a stiffer penalty than the $800,000 buyout it gave Kiffin.  Dooley and his agent Jimmy Sexton don’t want the buyout to be too high.

Sexton has made it clear that he doesn’t believe that Dooley should be punished — not sure how someone making $1.8 million a year is being punished — for something that Kiffin did.

Of course, Sexton also represented Kiffin, so perhaps athletic director Mike Hamilton should simply say, “We’re not punishing Dooley… we’re punishing YOU.”

Having rushed into its deal with Dooley back in January — the two parties met on a Thursday and the coach was hired on Friday — UT has given the leverage to Dooley and Sexton.

As a friend of mine said yesterday, it’s hard to get the bride to sign the pre-nup AFTER the marriage.

Also of interest is the fact that Knoxville-media asked Dooley at his opening presser if he might have eyes for any other jobs.  Say… one to the south where his Papa once coached?  Dooley said, of course, that he planned to be at Tennessee for a long time.

So why the hang-up on the buyout?  Maybe it’s all standard agent haggling, but a fanbase that’s rightfully leery of quick-skedaddling coaches probably would prefer to hear that Dooley has already inked his contract.  And that he isn’t worried about the buyout clause.



  1. [...] this conference. Jump to Comments Mike Hamilton, as the saying goes, never bring a knife to a gun fight. … At issue is the buyout that Dooley would have to pay UT should he decide to split town [...]

  2. [...] Looks like there may be a small snag in negotiations to finalize Derek Dooley’s contract. According to reports, Mike Hamilton and his ol’ buddy Jimmy Sexton may not see eye to eye on the issue of buyout [...]

  3. [...] Pennington nails it here. [Mr. SEC] [...]

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