New contract clause could give OSU right to fire Urban Meyer with cause, void $38M deal

Urban Meyer signed a contract extension with Ohio State in April that pays him $7.6 million per year through the end of the 2022 season.

The deal made him the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten, surpassing Jim Harbaugh’s deal worth $7.5 million in 2018.

Details in that extension could end up costing Meyer $38 million.

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A Title IX provision in a contract extension could prove costly for Urban Meyer if Ohio State determines it can fire its football coach with cause. (AP)

Title IX clause could prove costly for Meyer

Meyer’s extension has a Title IX clause that requires him to report violations of Ohio State’s sexual misconduct policy.

“Coach shall promptly report to Ohio State’s Title IX Athletics any known violations of Ohio State’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate violence and stalking) that involve any student, faculty or staff or that is in connection with a university sponsored activity or event. … For purposes of this Section 4.1 (e), a “known violation” shall mean a violation or allegation of a violation of Title IX that Coach is aware of or has reasonable cause is taking place or may have taken place.”

Ohio State placed Meyer on administrative leave Wednesday to investigate what he did and didn’t know about allegations that former assistant coach Zach Smith repeatedly abused his wife over the course of six years.

Another provision in the contract opens a different avenue for OSU to potentially find cause to fire Meyer, who admitted last week that he was aware of 2009 allegations against Smith from both of their days at Florida before he hired him at Ohio State.

“It is recognized that this subsection” pertaining to grounds under which Meyer can be terminated for cause “encompasses findings or determinations of violations during employment of Coach at Ohio State or any other institution of higher learning.”

OSU on hook for $38 million if Meyer fired without cause

Whether OSU finds if Meyer did in fact violate provisions of his new contract extension will be up to the attorneys if OSU does ultimately decide to fire Meyer.

If the school fires Meyer without cause, it still owes him the $7.6 million per year on the five years left on his deal. If OSU proves cause and fires him, it owes him nothing.

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