Contracts offer Clemson the possibility of staff stability
CLEMSON - Clemson football could be entering a period of rare staff continuity due to the contract structuring of the program’s top assistants.
New defensive coordinator Brent Venables’ contract is designed similarly to Chad Morris’ new deal, as both contracts contain heavy incentives to remain at Clemson until head coaching opportunities arise. Clemson has also been engaged in talks with Dabo Swinney, who would like to have years added to his contract. Swinney has fewer years remaining on his contract (through 2014) than his top assistants Morris (signed through 2017) and Venables (signed through 2016).
Venables agreed to a five-year, $4 million deal to leave Oklahoma for Clemson in January and like Morris – who has a 6-year, $7.8 million deal - Venables would face significant penalties to leave Clemson for another college assistant position, according to contract details which were released this week.
If the new Clemson defensive coordinator terminates his contract or accepts a lateral assistant coaching position Venables is obligated to pay the university total annual amount of supplemental income ($550,000) multiplied by the remaining years on his contract plus 25 percent of his base salary ($245,000).
Morris also has a mutli-million dollar buyout to leave Clemson for an assistant job.
Like Morris’ deal, the buyout is waived if Venables departs Clemson for a position his contract defines as one “a reasonable person in the college football coaching profession would believe to be a professional advancement.”
Venables contract contains a number of incentives including an extra months’ salary if Clemson goes to a bowl game and an extra two months worth of compensation if Clemson participates in a BCS bowl game.
The contract does not include the escalator clause of Morris’ deal. If Morris continues to produce a top 10 offense in any one of the six years remaining on his contact his compensation would increase to the average of the top three offensive coordinators in the country.
Morris is the nation’s top paid assistant entering the 2012 season but with new television money filtering into the college game, Morris’ annual compensation could conceivably fall out of the top three in the not-to-distant future.
If Clemson should decide to terminate the contract Venables would receive all remaining compensation.