Mack Brown Has Every Right to Aim for a Higher Buyout from Texas

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Mack Brown Has Every Right to Aim for a Higher Buyout from Texas
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Mack Brown's resignation as Texas' head coach was a convoluted process, if not downright messy. Based on one report, it would appear his post-resignation relationship with Texas may not be all smooth sailing either. 

Kirk Bohls and Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman report that Brown is angling for a larger buyout package than the one he previously agreed to. 

Specifically, the Statesman claims Brown, with the help of his attorney, Joe Jamail, is "seeking as much as $1.3 million annually for the next seven years—the duration of his existing contract—under the title of special assistant to Texas president Bill Powers," a source with knowledge of the talks told the paper. 

By resigning, Brown is set to receive at least $500,000 annually under that title. His buyout is a one-time payment of $2.75 million if the school terminates him before Dec. 31, 2014, according to both the Statesman and ESPN's Darren Rovell. 

What are the chances Texas pays Brown the new amount he wants? According to one official who spoke with the Statesman, they're not particularly good. 

The UT System Board of Regents must approve any final agreement. A high-ranking UT source said that $1.3 million figure would not be approved.

“They haven’t approved it yet,” Jamail said. “That price has not been agreed on.”

At $5,453,750 in total pay, according to the USA Today, Brown was the second-highest paid coach in college football in 2013. Broken down, Brown received around $681,000 per victory. That's stealing money. Eight or nine wins a season with no conference or BCS titles isn't going to get it done at Texas, especially not with that kind of dollar amount being dished out.  

But in January, 2012, Texas' board of regents unanimously approved Brown's four-year extension to keep him through 2020. That came on the recommendation of former athletic director DeLoss Dodds and university president Bill Powers. 

The same Bill Powers who, according to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, recently had a change of heart on Brown's future—and sent new AD Steve Patterson to deliver the news. 

The source told Yahoo! Sports that Patterson arrived at the football building with a jarring change of heart for Brown: You need to resign. That was the decision of University of Texas president Bill Powers, and Patterson was the apologetic messenger. The source said Powers, a longtime friend and supporter of the football coach, abruptly yanked the rug out from beneath Brown after supporting his continued tenure the previous two days.

Thus, the 16-year Mack Brown Era at Texas was terminated, not by the coach himself, but at the insistence of an embattled school president. Although the school's official release and every public statement has said Brown decided on his own to step down, he was pushedafter being told the decision was his.

Whether the reported change of heart was on Powers or the regents, who control Powers' job status, is unclear. Either way, it would be an about-face from two years ago. Yet, Brown insisted in his resignation press conference that the decision was a mutual one.  

Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Other than the immediate parties, no one knows for sure how the whole series of events went down. However, if there's even an iota of truth to Forde's report, it makes sense that Brown would ask for more money. 

If the decision was essentially made for Brown but was spun for public consumption, then Brown isn't really resigning. Why, then, should he be compensated like he is? That doesn't mean Brown will get more money from Texas, but there's absolutely no risk in shooting for it. 

Texas' mediocrity over the past four years is Brown's fault; Texas' previous decision to reward that mediocrity isn't. As Sean Adams of ESPN Austin notes, how many people would leave their current job for a bare minimum salary?

The amount of confusion and conflicting reports in the week leading up to Brown's resignation would indicate few people were on the same page. Those tea leaves suggest this was not a completely harmonious situation. 

In the end, Texas did what is best for the program—as it should. Brown shouldn't need the extra money, but he's reportedly doing what he feels is best for himself—as he should. The marriage between Brown and Texas, as it used to exist, is over. There's no need to put up an agreeable face anymore. 

 

Ben Kercheval is the Lead Writer for Big 12 football. Follow him on Twitter @BenKercheval

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