College football: Around the SEC

Published: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 12:47 a.m.

Auburn has agreed to a new year five-year contract with football coach Tommy Tuberville, raising his annual salary to $1.5 million, a boost of $250,000, according to newspaper reports Thursday.

The contract, which is expected to be signed this week, includes a buyout of at least $3 million designed to make it hard for either side to walk away from the deal, according to The Huntsville Times and The Birmingham News.

Tuberville led the Tigers to a 9-4 record last season, including an upset of Alabama and a victory over Penn State in the Capital One Bowl. The new deal includes a $250,000 raise and incentives worth up to another $500,000 annually.

Tuberville will receive an additional $1 million if he completes the five-year contract.

Under the buyout, if Auburn fired Tuberville, the school would have to pay him $3 million plus $200,000 for each year he completes of the contract.

If Tuberville left for another job, he'd owe Auburn $3 million.

The old buyout was $1 million for both sides. The new deal also includes about 25 percent more in incentives, ranging from a bonus for winning the SEC West title to one for a national championship.

Tuberville, who is 30-19 in four years at Auburn, will be tied with new Alabama coach Mike Price as the third-highest paid coach in the Southeastern Conference.

LSU's Nick Saban and Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer make about $1.6 million apiece.

Tuberville has doubled his salary since coming to Auburn in 1998 for about $760,000 a year, with a pay boost to $1.25 million after the 2000 season. His contract includes an automatic rollover, meaning it will always be five years in length.

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