The University of Akron will be forced to bear the brunt of buying out the two years remaining on the contract of new football coach Tom Arth, an athletics department official confirmed Saturday.
Arth, a Westlake native who is leaving the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to coach the Zips, owes UTC about $370,000 (twice his $185,000 base salary) to get out of those remaining years, according to reports.
UA is also still on the hook for the remainder of former coach Terry Bowden’s base salary, which is about $630,000 for his remaining two years. Bowden has elected to remain with the university, as his contract allows, for that period of time.
However, given UA's projected deficit of $16 million for the next fiscal year, the question of who pays for those buyouts remains.
Athletics Director Larry Williams said Saturday the school recently settled with the University of Nebraska for $650,000 for its guarantee for the Zips' 2018 season opener, which was canceled because of stormy weather. That money goes into the athletics department coffers. The Zips also received a guarantee from Nebraska for a game in 2025.
Additionally, the game played at South Carolina on Dec. 1 to make up for the lost Nebraska game paid the school $1.3 million.
As for Arth’s buyout, Williams said the overall cost ultimately could be lessened by guaranteeing the Mocs, a Division I-AA program, a game at InfoCision Stadium.
“Maybe they need a game,” he said. “It seems we have mutual interests there, so we’ll explore all of that as we work through the resolution. But we’ve taken the obligation of paying that. That’s the way it always works.”
George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByGeorgeThomas.