Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Charlie Weis contract finalized

New KU football coach will make $2.5 million per year through 2016

Charlie Weis laughs at the podium as he addresses media members during a news conference in which Weis was announced as the new football coach for KU on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Charlie Weis laughs at the podium as he addresses media members during a news conference in which Weis was announced as the new football coach for KU on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.


The contract for newly named Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has been finalized, and, like the one drawn up for former KU coach Turner Gill in 2009, it does not include a buyout for early termination.

Weis, who has signed on for 5 years, will make $2.5 million per year plus incentives. That’s $12.5 million, guaranteed, whether he coaches one game, one year or all five seasons. The only way Weis would be owed less would be if he were fired for cause.

According to KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger, such a contract is the price you pay for hiring a high-profile coach and is common throughout athletics. If anything, it further condemns the fact that the previous administration offered Gill a similar deal despite being an unproven head coach with a losing record.

“I’m fully aware that was an area of concern on the last contract," Zenger told the Journal-World. "It’s something we don't take lightly. It is typical in today’s world to guarantee the yearly income when dealing with higher profile coaches.”

Should Weis elect to terminate his contract prior to Dec. 31, 2014, he would owe the university $2.5 million. If he chooses to terminate the deal between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2016 (the end of his contract), he would owe KU $1.5 million.

But Zenger does not foresee either side ending the relationship early and is willing to give Weis the time and resources he needs to make KU a winner. Included in the contract is a clause that makes available at least $2.1 million annually for assistant coaches.

“We believe that Charlie Weis is the right coach at the right time for the University of Kansas," Zenger added. "And we understand it’s going to take time to build this program in the right direction.”

While this kind of clause also is common, it was not written into former KU coach Turner Gill’s deal. Gill, who was fired on Nov. 27 after going 5-19 during his two seasons in Lawrence, signed on for 5 years at $2 million per year and will receive all that is owed to him within 90 days of being fired.

As for Weis, his incentives cover everything from Big 12 victories and bowl appearances to BCS title game appearances and national coach of the year honors.

Here's a look at the incentives included in the contract:

5 Big 12 conference game wins: $50,000

Each additional Big 12 win after 5 wins: $10,000 per game

Big 12 Regular Season Championship: $100,000

Bowl Game participation: $50,000

Bowl Game win: $25,000

BCS Bowl Game participation: $100,000

BCS Bowl Game win: $50,000

AP National Coach of the Year: $75,000

Big 12 Coach of the Year: $50,000

National Championship Game participation: $200,000

National Championship Game win: $100,000


Michael Leiker 2 years, 4 months ago

Not the way I would have preferred this whole coaching search to go down, but at least Weis is someone you can get behind. Looking forward to 2012. It will be exciting.


FreddyinLA 2 years, 4 months ago

Another bad contract. No way should CW be given 5 guaranteed years. Did we not learn anything?


Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

Maybe we should make a matching offer to be split equally among the players as well.

Heck, that's what they do in the SEC and the Pac 12!!! [posted with heartfelt malice :)]


redbull38 2 years, 4 months ago

You would have to be fans of a basketball school to believe Weis is a good college head coach. Oh wait, Never mind.

KU is paying Weis more than Notre Dame did to start. The sad part is KU knows he is a bad head coach up front. Weis had 2 respecable seasons at ND and then wen 16-21 in his last 3 years with the player he signed. ND gets player by just bing ND. So either Weis is really bad at recruiting or really bad at coaching. Either way bad is bad.

You might say 16-21 is lots better than where we are at. With the athletes that KU can expect to sign that 16-21 turns into 5-32 pretty fast. Even if Weis is 16-21 in 3 years is 5 to 6 wins a season worth 2.5 million?


hawksince51 2 years, 4 months ago

Now that we have hired him for 5 years, Weis has my full support and I truly hope that he earns every dollar by being a great recruiter and coach. But, I have to question whether he is as proven a coach as many seem to feel. His best years at ND were with players his predecessor recruited. And the Super Bowl rings as an Assistant Coach have to be taken with a grain of salt. Coaching Brady under Belichick could make a lot of assistants look good. I offer Josh McDaniel, the Denver disaster, as an example. All that said, I realize one has to consider how hard it probably was to get a big-time FB coach to come to KU given our recent history. I hope Weis turns out to be the big-time coach that this contract suggests he is.


Shawn Otrimble 2 years, 4 months ago

Since when has jaybate decided to take over Tom Keegan's position of doing crappy editorials???? His words are more numbing than me taking my 8 yr old daughter to school and having to listen to the "Vive 95.7"..... Jaybate in a perfect world I would only allow you 10 words per article or be punishable by death.


ParisHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Is it possible there is a double-barrelled conspiracy going on? Zenger and Weis want to lower expectations, so they get the most articulate posters like jaybate to argue against the hire. Why double-barrelled? Because either it works and fans calm down, or it forces others to counter with expressions of support, which means they can't back down without losing face.

Like a true conspirator, jaybate will probably deny all this.


fabio 2 years, 4 months ago


Notre Dame had to pay Weis $6.6 million to go away. Will KU have to pay more? Zenger is a near clone of Perkins, only Perkins didn't have his own mistakes he could learn from. Zenger learned nothing from Perkins mistakes! Kansas Football should seriously be covered on Comedy Central. That is not a joke.


JayDocMD 2 years, 4 months ago

Recruiting update: Charlie Weiss, Ron Powlus, & Reggie Mitchell were in McPherson, KS Tuesday to recruit Tyler Matthews. According to Rivals, Matthews is a 4 star QB and is the 7th ranked pro style QB in the nation. He has an oral commitment to TCU, but also recently talked to Ok St. Reports are he's still happy with TCU but listened & said he'd talk to his parents.


blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I think that it is wrong to be disrespectful to someone before they've even really started the job. Misspelling someone's name and exhibiting your superiority complex apparently takes a thousand words or more - thank goodness no one reads iy.


Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 4 months ago

Worth every penny.

A third of his yearly salary has come in the form of extra donations to the Williams Fund in the last week alone.


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

The athletic departments have developed a remarkable means of accounting that these numbers do not fully clarify. :-)

So: back to the Weis hire.

Let us say Chollie was the right guy, despite my doubts. We aren't talking about giving him the kind of annual "contributions" he would need to compete in this rarified atmosphere. We also are not talking about a massive stadium expansion...yet. And I have heard no one indicate that local corporations are crying out to massively subsidize luxury boxes vastly beyond what they are already doing.

It follows then that poor Chollie is probably doomed to fail for lack of resources, despite his raucous new offense and his genius for play calling.

Therefore, if we are determined to fail, why not fail as cheaply as possible with Turner Gill?

Why fail more expensively with Chollie?

I am open to suggestions.

Right now the only anomalies that catch my eye ar that it is rumored that the Big 12 would like to attract ND and the Big East, that Chollie and his assistants so far have ties to Notre Dame, and a gimp quarterback with a year eligibility remaining might be interested in playing QB for KU for a season.

If these dots don't hunt, then what does?

It seems odd that you can attract Chollie and his NDers for the money and 5 year term of contract Chollie got, but not a defensive coordinator from Okie State, OU, UT, or any of a number of big time D1 programs. Usually young defensive coordinators have to start somewhere humble. Why not KU?

What did all those DCs know about KU that we don't?

Mark Mangino turned KU around no problemo. He won a Rose Bowl and almost want a national championship. Had he gone to anger management and replaced his top recruiter (and lost a few pounds), chances are he would still be here.

Something in all of this does not add up. There seems to be some dark matter here in KU's football universe that is hidden, but exerting a force on outcomes of who is fired and who is hired.

All for now.


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Texas A&M nets $25 million surplus of revenues less expenses. And it generates an impressive $21M in ticket sales, but again, a big chunk of its "revenues" are really private subsidies. TAM gets $5.3M in contributions, plus $1.2M in advertisements and sponsorship (read private subsidy). Subtract $6.2M from the $25M it nets and its net falls to $19.8M, not chump change for sure.

But again, only the expense and not the cost of the infrastructure appears to be figured in.

And another very important thing to remember about Texas and Texas A&M "ticket sales" is the amount from corporate luxury boxes is not indicated. It may be that a rather large percentage of those "ticket sales" come from corporate subsidy of corporate boxes.

Where I am trying to get to here is that football may well not be the great revenue generator that it is cracked up to be.

Rather football may be the great private subsidy generator that no one likes to admit to.

The real question KU must ask itself before it takes the plunge into big time college football is this:

If KU invests heavily enough in coaches and recruiting and infrastructure expansion required to create a team capable of filling the stadium at a 75K expanded capacity, can it realistically expect to attract luxury box investment on a scale commensurate with Texas and TAM, plus $4-5M/yr in "contributions, plus $1M or so in "advertising and sponsorship," so that it can run on a similar model and expect similar profits?

The next step down in business model would be KSU. KSU operates with a small stadium, generates $10.6M in ticket sales, but needs $3.4M/yr in "contributions."

An interesting question arises when looking at all of these numbers.

Why if the programs generate these sizable operating surpluses do these programs require annual "contributions" of $3.4 at KSU to $5M at Texas? :-)

I cannot think of a single reason.

When I combine this mystery with the fact that the only way the Indianapolis newspaper was able to get these figures was by a massive Freedom of Information Act Request, I am left with the following hunch.


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

I distill the following from the the figures so far:

Successful football programs generate their big dollars by:

  1. Filling stadiums
  2. Charging big time for their tickets.
  3. Extracting huge annual "contributions" from their alumni
  4. An in rare cases (like Texas) generate huge advertising dollars from their own network.

Texas claims to have a huge operating surplus, but a third of the operating surplus (revenues less expenses) comes from $15M in "contributions" and $6M in "advertising revenues."

Now, those advertising revenues at Texas could easily be more massive contributions by advertisers effectively subsidizing Texas, rather than optimizing their advertising dollars.

Next, the figures at the Indianapolis newspaper I examined do not make clear the nature of infrastructure costs associated with the stadium, football athletic dormitories, and the practice facilities.

The probability is that the actual infrastructure cost is not charged as an expense at all in these numbers. The expenses related to infrastructure probably refer only to "operating expenses" like the electricity, water, maintenance and janitorial services racked up with each game and with usage of practice facilities and athletic dormitories.

So: vast cost of land and constructed improvements of the stadium and parking structure, the substantial construction costs of the practice facilities, and of the athletic dorms are left out of the income/expense information. These huge amounts of money would, if properly accounted for, substantially eat into a football programs "great revenue generation." In all probability, the huge infrastructure costs were subsidized the state and by alumi contributions.

So: football, even at the University of Texas, which is widely pointed to as one of the biggest money makers in college sports, is quite frankly a big subsidy sink, even if it is generating some healthy net surpluses in its income/expense pro forma.


tophawk87 2 years, 4 months ago

So why is Z now "willing to wait for the coach to build a program, this takes time...." He should tell that to Coach Gill, who was dumped after two years....


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Texashawk10 et al,

There are one of two ways for KU to approach football now:

a) it doesn't matter that we are near the bottom of the football revenue generating list, because we are staying in the Big 12 no matter what for all sorts of political economic infrastructure reasons (the notion that I have always indicated); or

b) the Big 12 cannot hold together and so we must ramp up football in order for KU to be attractive to another BCS conference (an eventuality I highly doubt the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas energy oligarchy) will ever permit for all sorts of political economic infrastructure reasons.

My problem with the Weis hire is that it satisfactorily addresses neither eventuality.

If a), then either don't squeeze the alumni for $6M, or squeeze them, while keeping Turner Gill and using the $6M to hire 2-3 defensive/recruiting coordinators from different top programs in the conference by giving them each huge $2M signing bonuses to bring in a huge rush of talent and skill, and so actually have gotten some real consideration for the $6M immediately (and if we had to spread Weis extra $500k/yr divided three ways in salary sweetener for the three new coordinators).

If b), then we really needed to open up the purse strings, pay some super coach $5M per year to come in and turn this thing around pronto, and start filling the stadium.

Either option would have been fine with me. Either one.

But Weis accomplishes neither.

He costs us waaaaay more than sticking with Gill, but is really just another guy emphasizing offensive sizzle the same as Gill promised.

Most KU football fans that have been hammering me for my strong opposition to what has happened were, prior to the Weis hire, advocated hiring a defensive coordinator, because they thought successful programs build the defense first and defensive coordinators would start with a well stocked pipeline of defensive recruits. How they can be happy with Weis, I do not know.

But I know this: if you want to build the offense first, then Gill was doing that, whether skillfully, or incompetently (Note: of course I think Gill was on time line for a full rebuild "the right way", but even if you disagree with me you have to say that Weis talking offense first just like Gill).

Next, because so many board rats view football as the only way to generate big dollars, I took a look at the D1 college athletic budget numbers for a number of schools available at:

These figures are dated, but that's because most athletic departments are loath to let out their numbers for fear of alienating people in the present.


blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Dr. Z is all-in on this one - and I don't blame him. We're as bad in football as we can be, we're on the brink of being without a conference because of it, enrollment is down, morale is down - he has decided to go for it. I also think that, through his research and his interview with Weiss, Zenger is absolutely convinced he's got the right guy.

I'm in, too. Let's go Charlie!


Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 4 months ago

Skeptics need to chill out. We would have never attracted a guy like Weis without a sexy contract. KU is never going to improve at FB without taking some calculated risks. By calculated, I mean dont risk hiring a nobody.


LeadTrader 2 years, 4 months ago

$208,333.33/month plus all the other benefits one gets from coaching at a major university? Come On. Stop throwing other peoples money around at people who have yet to have proven they are Nick Saban quality. I hope it all works out well, but to have $12.5 million guaranteed regardless of outcome is not good business in my opinion.


Ray March 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm surprised they did another 5 year guarantee. I would never do that. You are guaranteed that $ if you do well. If you suck. You won't get paid that $.

I'd set it up for 2 years initially with an option to extend it.

Aside from that 5 year guarantee, $2.5 Million is too much. Pay less as a base with cash incentives for each win/bowl win/conference championship/BCS win/etc...


hailtoku 2 years, 4 months ago

That's a lot of cheddar.

Can't we offer incentive based compensation? Starte with 1.5 million a year and add. Average 45,000+ in attendance make 500k more. Win 6 games or more make 500k more. Win a bowl game make 750k more. Win 10 games make 500k more. Win a BCS game make 1 million more the following year.

Otherwise I feel we are running into the same problem with Turner. We are paying Weis way more than he is worth.


Jayhawk1958 2 years, 4 months ago

The only people that are really down on the hire are from opposition fans especially MU and KSU. They are in denial right now because they are afraid that KU will be a football school in addition to basketball.


Jeff Soisson 2 years, 4 months ago

These incentives don't matter. $50k on $2.5M is 2%. If he won a national championship, he would get a huge raise and another multi-year contract. This deal probably makes him a top 30 paid coach.

If it takes him 5 years to win a national championship, then we paid him $12.5M for it-I call that even. No bonus needed.

This pay package is not about football, it is about the survival of KU long term. Schools that are competitive in football will be financially viable in the future because TV deals will supplement budgets. Those that are not will have big challenges going forward.


texashawk10 2 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate, I normally love reading your stuff but I don't understand why you're so against the Weis hire. It's low risk-high reward situation for KU because if he fails it just continues the national reputation KU has as being a bad football school and nothing changes, but if Weis is successful KU becomes relevant in football every year and can attract big name coaches when Weis retires if there isn't already a coach in waiting named. Weis' hiring is already paying dividends for KU football because KU football is being discussed very heavily at KU in the middle of basketball season and is getting reported on by media outlets across the country which piques the curiosity of recruits, casual fans, and donors about KU football. KU is also now in the minds of some big name uncommitted recruits and while it's unlikely any come here (except for Crist), just to have KU in their minds as a viable destination is a victory for KU football to build on. This hire is much more risky for Charlie Weis than it is for KU because Weis runs the risk tarnishing his name while KU runs the risk of maintaining the status quo while although not good, doesn't do any damage to KU's reptutation in football.


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

"Football Dunciad: The Early Staff Adds"

Chollie has apparently decided that coaches from D1 programs are a secondary priority.

His first two hires are:

1) a high school coach from Bishop Miege, who used to be a sports announce and before that a line man for the Chiefs, and, yep, you guessed it, a player at ND;

2) an assistant from University of Akron who had privately participated in Chollie's run at mediocrity at, yep, you guessed it...ND.

Recent D1 major coaching experience and recruiting experience? We don't need no stinking D1 major coaching experience and recruiting experience!

Oh, Father Jenkins, BGL and Crayon Banger have started the Kanas Home for former Notre Damers. Will you please sign up to join the Big 12 now?


kugrampy 2 years, 4 months ago

Bah Hunbug Jbate, who put rat feces in your stocking?


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

"The Football Dunciad Continues..."

First, let's give a guy who hasn't recruited in the D1 ranks for four years $2M/yr for 5 years.

Second, let's talk about how stupid we were to give a coach a 5 year guarantied contract.

Third, let's run him after two season, by paying off his contract for $6M, so we lose a bunch of his players, and many of his incoming recruits.

Fourth, let's hire a guy who couldn't get it done at Notre Dame for $2.5M for 5 years.

See this way, we get to be $6M poorer all at once and $500K poorer each year for "upgrading" to a coach who couldn't get it done at ND.

This takes years of experience and lots and lots of savvy to pull off a deal this lousy.


Kent Kossoy 2 years, 4 months ago

Bug name coach?? Well if he brings ND success to KU then I will say good deal. What he did at ND would be acceptable at KU. However just to pay $12.5 mil for one game, one year or 5 is ridiculous. Texas is paying Mack $5.5 mil/yr and he may be gone in a year or two if things don't change. Anyway just saying. Big Mangino was already on a slide when he went out. So I am sort of getting used to mediocrity we call footbal at KU. I hope that I am wrong. We will see next year!! These last two years made pining for Sunday to begin.


Danny Hernandez 2 years, 4 months ago

9-3, 10-2 records are not out of the question...The right qb, the right defensive line, a great Dcoordinator and it is very well possible. Confidence breeds confidence my good friends...

start playing well, one game at a time....


AzHawk97 2 years, 4 months ago

The importance of being/staying in a BCS conference? It makes money irrelevant when it comes to hiring and firing coaches.


dynamitehawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Dang it... They always get soft after they sign a big contract. <- fat joke :^)


JayHok 2 years, 4 months ago

We want Crist!

We want Crist!


swunruhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Now maybe he can afford to buy a comb and actually use it. What's up with his hair? I don't remember him looking like that. Great hire...who care about the hair?


Mangino_saurus 2 years, 4 months ago

I don't expect Weis to make such major improvements everyone is expecting. Sure the team will win a few more games, but I dont expect KU to finish better than 5th, maybe 4th, in Big 12 during Weis' time here. Just my thoughts.


hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Charlie, with that amount of money, you will be able to afford gills house that is still under construction. I think gill would be able to let it go cheap due to the fact that he will not be using it.


johnnyphoton 2 years, 4 months ago

I can't imagine being a recruit or a parent of a recruit and looking at those gaudy contract numbers. Wow!


hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Zenger, you are one smart AD. Great job.


Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 4 months ago

he gets $2.5 million per year, guaranteed...and that is of course, all the radio and TV appearances...the equipment deal, the licensing... the whole nine yards. his base salary will probably be arond 200 grand a a state employee.

the buyouts are important. i am even more convinced now, that Lew Perkins had totally lost buyout in Gill's contract? so HE walks away...and we're owed nothing? simply unbelievable. i know Bill Self has a buyout in his contract.

all of these contracts are guaranteed can't sign someone to work year to year...wtih no guarantee of getting do you square that with recruits? "come to Kansas, and if you play well and are successful...then i'll be able to coach you all four years." that would not fly well at all....and what a boost to the negative recruiters.

we're also paying for the living legend Charlie Weis is. let's get real...if we would have hired Malzahn (who is going to Arkansas st.) or Doeren or even Brent Venables....most HS football players would have had to have been giving the introduction..."Hi. i'm so and so the new KU head football coach...." now it's "Hi, i'm...." "i know who you're Charlie Weis."

frankly, i really don't care how much we pay the head long as he produces. and that means some league wins, some bowl games, and competing with and regularly beating ISU, KSU, OSU and WVU. Go Jayhawks!


kushaw 2 years, 4 months ago

The whole National Championship win incentive seems a little off base. I mean, for a program like Kansas..................give the dude $500k-1M for winning the National Championship. 100K just does not seem to fit the bill IMO.


kusportsdotcom 2 years, 4 months ago

BTW, I'm good with all these numbers, including the no buyout clause. You gotta pay for the talent, and I'm not sure KU could have gotten a better coach. It should be a fun 5+ years.


justinryman 2 years, 4 months ago

Loft incentives, but then again they may just be what is needed to get performance out of a coach.


kusportsdotcom 2 years, 4 months ago

Jeez, if we win a national championship, we should double his entire salary. I'll personally give him my life savings (which isn't very much for a recent college grad, so it's not a big deal). You have my word on that.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.