FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — As usual, we won't know for certain but Chad Morris' buyout may be why he's not a high school coach anymore.
Yeah, he's been the gift that keeps giving for half a decade.
He spent last season as offensive coordinator at Auburn, where his $735,000 salary was an acceptable offset under the terms of his Arkansas contract:
Notwithstanding any other term or condition in this Agreement, Coach shall have an affirmative duty to mitigate in good faith by seeking other comparable employment in the event this Agreement is terminated for convenience, as well as an obligation to comply with any mitigation and/or other conditions set forth in this Agreement. The Liquidated Damages Payment shall be offset by any employment related compensation received by Coach, whether from athletic-related or non-athletic-related sources, and Coach shall have an affirmative duty to timely disclose all such earnings.
Making a reported $141,000 a year to coach the Allen Eagles apparently wasn't acceptable to offset anything.
The payment of the $10 million he was owed was to be made monthly through the end of the contract Dec. 31, 2023, but was to be offset by any other employment compensation Morris received.
The contract makes it clear he had to try and get a real job, but maybe the point that could be argued is "comparable employment."
Without offsets, the payment would be about $205,000 monthly, or almost $2.5 million a year.
The Razorback Foundation has shown being a graduate assistant for an NFL team or being vastly underpaid as a position coach didn't count. They took former coach Bret Bielema to court and everybody settled things.
Morris' answer to leaving was to go back to the college ranks. Despite what some people in Texas like to think and all Razorbacks fans are convinced about is Morris was forced out after an 11-3 season with the Eagles.
While that is considered below expectations there, no evidence exists that was the case.
Dave Campbell's Texas High School Football, the decades-old bible of the sport in a state that is obsessed with it, weighed in on it:
It's not unreasonable to believe that working at the high school ranks, even at a job as big as Allen (where Morris made over 141k in 2021) did not satisfy the terms of the buy-out and that Coach Morris can’t fully commit to a return to a college job, while running the Allen program.
There is speculation new TCU coach Sonny Dykes could bring him to Fort Worth as an analyst, but that gig probably wouldn't pay more than being a high school coach at the highest level. Morris' son, Chad, is a player for the Horned Frogs.
Of course, the change in coaches at Allen with decades-long staff members leaving caused a commotion Morris simply didn't want to deal with. He's jumped into situations he couldn't figure out before, as Razorback fans know.
But it's not unreasonable to think the UA started asking questions.
Of course, nobody has pointed out that the Hogs fired him because he wasn't any good at that level and determining that is the only "comparable" job is probably a fantasy.
He'll never get another SEC head coaching job.
He might want to get something quickly, though.
Because, as Bielema found out, the fine print can get you.
• Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the allHOGS message board community today!