How much would it cost to fire Jeff Tedford?

Allyse Bacharach/File

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As the final shattered pieces of Cal’s broken season fall to the ground, questions will inevitably be asked about who should lead the program next fall. But though this year’s string of dismal performances seems to have completed Jeff Tedford’s fall from grace among the football faithful, the financial ramifications of firing him will surely give university leaders pause before they pull the trigger.

According to his contract, the university must pay the remainder of his agreed salary should it terminate his employment. This means it would be on the hook for at least $5.4 million (the sum of Tedford’s minimum $225,000 base salary and $1,575,000 talent fee annually through 2015, the year the contract ends). When factoring in the possibility of a house cleaning so the next coach could bring in his own coaching staff — offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast alone earned a combined $640,000 in 2011, according to the Sacramento Bee’s state pay database — that figure could balloon.

For many diehard fans, the path forward is simple: Tedford must go. But the question remains whether an athletic department that sometimes struggles to break even — even requiring a bailout from the campus four years ago — can afford to pay a coach several million dollars to not work.

(Note: A clause in Tedford’s contract stipulates that, if he were to find employment at another college football program or in the NFL during the tenure of the contract, the university will not have to pay him for the amount he earns at his new job.)

Read the full text of Tedford’s contract below (and learn about his two-car allowance, his country club membership, the terms for his various bonuses (of which there are many), and more!).

Jeff Tedford’s original contract (2002)

Jeff Tedford’s contract addendum (2011)

Contact Jordan Bach-Lombardo at [email protected]

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  • Seansun

    If they keep JT one more year for whatever reason, I will officially consider SB delusional for believing that, somehow, magically, he can become very good, not great (never was), again. By settling for “okay” we are making it clear to all Cal fans and rivals, that Cal football is a joke and will never be a serious contender because we never invest or take the proper risks to become great like Stanford proved was possible in an academically challenging arena. Good Lord, I for one, will not buy another season pass until the AD shows a real commitment to making Cal football a legitimate team worth watching. The players and fans deserve better than an ongoing onslaught of demoralizing losses. Tedford deserves nothing. He has been generously compensated for several years, and for the last four, continuously failed to deliver. This is a high stakes, high paying job. The rule of thumb is, “produce or perish.” A weak-minded decision today will impact recruiting, sales, and coaching staff for years to come. All fronts will take a hit, Good luck trying to pay down the renovation debt with Tedford around.

  • Anonymous

    Pretty sure the boosters have already agreed to buy out his contract.

  • I_h8_disqus

    Participation in better bowl games, and playing a top team early in the season could pay for a new quality coach. This year we had a loss against Nevada, and we had to pay them. Michigan played Alabama and lost too, but Alabama paid them $4 million. We didn’t get that kind of pay day from Ohio State, but if we were a better team, then we could get better pay for playing. A better team would also sell those remaining seats in the 1% section of the stadium, and could increase donations. It would be nice if we could pool some alum donations to pay for a new coach.

  • Lookatmy7highlyeffectivehabits

    And the solution is you keep him in until the contract runs out, to punish all the atheltic administrators and alumni who agreed to it.