Auburn Fired Gus Malzahn and Triggered His Massive Buyout in the Middle of the Pandemic

By Stephen Douglas
Gus Malzahn
Gus Malzahn / Joe Robbins/Getty Images
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Gus Malzahn has been fired by Auburn, according to Brett McMurphy. While Malzahn and the Tigers went 6-4 this year, by far the worst season for Auburn in the Malzahn era, this is still a pretty big shock. Not because he's been so successful lately, but because of how much damn money this is going to cost Auburn.

Malzahn was the seventh highest paid head coach in the power five conferences this season. He signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension late in the 2017 season. His current buyout is around $21.45 million. That is a hefty chunk of change anytime, but during a pandemic, it seems extra crazy. Especially considering the Auburn athletics department just cut their budget by 10% in 2019. That was before COVID-19.

So belts are already tightening and you have to pay two major college football coaches for the next four years. And apparently, half of that $21+ million is due within 30 days.

Considering all the circumstances, it's not hard to justify keeping Malzahn, no matter what the fans think. Moving on from a guy who did actually win the SEC during the Nick Saban / Alabama era at this cost just seems irresponsible.

And that's without even mentioning what it could cost to get rid of the rest of Malzahn's staff. All those folks are owed over $8 million combined right now.

As for Malzahn, perhaps with his new bankroll he could turn to politics.

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