Report: Butch Jones' UT Contract Buyout Being Used in Bret Bielema's Lawsuit Against Arkansas
While Butch Jones and Tennessee parted ways at the end of 2017, the two are still bound together by the buyout Tennessee is paying Jones, while he is employed as an intern at Alabama. Questions have been raised about why the Vols continue to pay the hefty sum, and if Jones really is attempting to gain another coaching position. He has been a rumored candidate for several jobs, but nothing has ever materialized from them.
Now, a former SEC coaching foe of Jones', Bret Bielema, is using Jones' contract and salary as an arguing point in his lawsuit against Arkansas to attempt to gain the remaining money the University stopped paying him after he took a job with New England making a significantly less sum than his head coaching job at Arkansas.
Yahoo Sports Pete Thamel posted a photo on Twitter of the claim, and Jones and Tennessee are both mentioned in the legal document.
It reads, " Despite all the striking similarities between these two fired for convenience SEC head coaches, there are equally striking differences as well. First, when Coach Bielema started working for the Patriots in 2018 at roughly the same time coach Jones became an "intern/analyst" at Alabama, Coach Bielema's annual earnings that year were more than three times the amount that coach Jones was paid. in 2019, Coach Bielema's earnings were more than seven times the amount Coach Jones was paid by Alabama. This year, Coach Bielema will earn more than eleven times what Coach Jones will be paid. That said, the most striking difference between Coach Jones' and Coach Bielema's experience is this: While Coach Jones continues to make a small fraction of what Coach Bielema earns while having the same obligation to seek other employment, Tennessee hasn't manufactured a baseless claim as a pretext to stop paying Coach Jones and to recoup all of his buyout payments.
Bielema's reported salary for last year was $50,000. So, Jones would be making roughly 7k a year at Alabama while receiving his buyout payments from Tennessee. It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out with Bielema, and if it will push Jones to see comparable employment at a faster rate.