Additional Swinney contract details
Just finished chatting with Dan Radakovich after Dabo Swinney's new contract was formally approved by the Board of Trustees. Here are some of the more important takeaways:
-- Here we are on April 12th, and I don't think anyone thought it'd take three months to get it done. Radakovich said a big part of it was Swinney's desire to get his assistants' deals done first. Another part was getting their schedules to match during a very busy three months. I've been told there was also some back and forth on some of the particulars, but that's to be expected. I don't think it was ever contentious, and given that there's no threat of Swinney leaving there wasn't a great urge to get it done right away.
-- So Swinney's pay goes up from $3.3 million (under the terms of the contract he signed after the 2013 season) to $4.55 million, with a sweet little signing bonus of $275,000. Two years from now he'll be over $5 million, and the final year of the deal (2021) will cap him out at $5.65 million. Included are retention bonuses of $600,000 if he's here after Jan. 1, 2019, and $400,000 if he's here after Jan. 1, 2021.
-- His new contract has a bunch of incentives just like the last one, which brought him about $1.2 million in bonuses alone from 2015..
-- Interesting that there's no buyout if Swinney decides to leave for an NFL head coaching position. If he leaves for a college position it's $6 million now, $5 million in 2017, $4 million in 2018, $3 million in 2019, $2 million in 2020 and $1 million in 2021.
On the other hand, if Clemson fires Swinney over the next two years (and yeah, it's hard to type that with a straight face) it owes him $20 million, followed by $18 million in 2018, $14 million in 2019, $9 million in 2020 and $5 million in 2021.
-- To pay this money you need new revenue streams, and Radakovich is going to give it another try on students paying for their tickets. His attempts to add a mandatory student fee were soundly rejected over a year ago. Now his plan is to have 3,300 free seats in the South upper deck, but anyone who wants to sit in the lower sections will have to make a $225 contribution for the season. Discussions with students are ongoing, and they're hoping to have this official for 2016.
Radakovich said Clemson is the only school in the SEC, Big 12 or the ACC that doesn't have either a mandatory student fee or a ticket fee for football or basketball. "Some schools have both," he said. Basketball will remain as is, he said. Radakovich noted that he's been pursuing this for two years and it isn't something that just came up now in conjunction with Swinney's new contract.
-- Radakovich stuck up for Brad Brownell. Said he's had his end-of-season review with him and likes where the program is.
"There was certainly a disappointing ending associated with men's basketball, but we can't forget we won 10 games in the toughest league in the entire country. And there were some real positives associated with that. We continue to grow in that sport. We can't let what happened in the last few minutes of the final game erase some real positives that were associated with the program."
Radakovich mentioned the pursuit of a new strength and conditioning coach. Darric Honnold, the strength coach for the past five seasons, will remain with the program but in a different capacity.
We'll have more insight into Swinney's new contract later on today.
Hope everyone is well.
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