Auburn paid a massive fortune as a result of moving on from former head coach Gus Malzahn.
Gus Malzahn signed a seven-year, $49 million extension to remain head coach of the Auburn Tigers late in 2017. Three years later he was fired following a 6-4 season in 2020.
Malzahn is doing fine as he is now the head coach at UCF. But that is not all. He also got a $21.45 million buyout from Auburn. That is quite the sum of money to receive for being fired.
Auburn hired Bryan Harsin as the new head coach, meaning the spending kept on coming. And between all the buyouts and the new contracts, Auburn is spending nearly $75 million to make a coaching change.
Auburn spending tens of millions of dollars on current and former coaches
This is just a mind-boggling amount of money. One note to remember is that this $73 million sum accounts for the full duration of all the deals. But still, that does not take away from this whopping sum of money.
The clear problem here was signing Malzahn to the extension in the first place. That should have been a long-term move, but apparently, the program had the money to move on in search of more wins under Harsin.
This is not something new to the sport. Long-term contracts are broken and supporters are willing to put up a ton of money to get a new coach in charge. The whole argument about colleges spending this money on fired coaches is a discussion for another time.
Malzahn showed up in 2013 and the Tigers went to the BCS National Championship Game. Auburn never reached that level again and 2020 was the end of the line for those making decisions in Auburn, Alabama.
But $73 million for two separate coaching staffs? This is the latest example that there is college football money and then there is SEC football money.