Why are details of new OU football coach Brent Venables' contract still unknown?
LAS VEGAS — Three days after Brent Venables was announced as OU’s head football coach, his contract details have yet to be made public.
The school has yet to fulfill multiple requests made by The Oklahoman and other outlets for the contract or terms of the deal.
Multiple athletic department officials have declined to disclose those details, which are public records under the Oklahoma Open Records Act.
At Clemson, where he’s served as defensive coordinator for 10 seasons, Venables agreed to a contract extension in July that was set to pay him $2.5 million annually through the 2025-26 season.
Brian Kelly agreed to a 10-year, $95 million contract with LSU, that school announced last Tuesday. LSU, like OU a public university, disclosed those terms in the official announcement of Kelly’s hiring and responded to a request by media outlets such as USA Today and Sports Illustrated to more specifics of the contract the day of the announcement.
Details of Lincoln Riley’s contract at USC have not been released. As a private institution, USC is not covered by open-record laws that mandate the release of contract details.
Open Records Office at OU has mixed record on responding to requests
OU's Open Records Office has sometimes been slow to respond to requests in recent years, with a request filed by The Oklahoman in December, 2019 asking for several documents remaining unfulfilled until Oct. 1 and part of that request remaining unfulfilled.
Other requests for documents have been fulfilled quicker, with a request for football non-conference contracts made in August 2020 filled just more than two weeks later. A similar request filed in late August of this year was not filled until late November.
The OU Daily, the school's student newspaper, detailed in a series of Twitter posts in late September numerous requests that had gone unfulfilled. Those included two from the previous summer.