COLUMBUS — Ohio State football’s past month of play saw four straight victories, a conference championship, and a triggered series of bonuses for head coach Urban Meyer.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer holds the trophy after Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 27-21 in the Big Ten championship game. Winning the game triggered a $100,000 bonus in Meyer's contract with the school.
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As the Big Ten champion and a participant in a College Football Playoff bowl game, Meyer’s contract with Ohio State calls for an additional $350,000 worth of bonuses from the school.
On Nov. 18, the Buckeyes — who already had defeated division foes Penn State and Michigan State — crushed Illinois 52-14 in Columbus to officially clinch the Big Ten East Division. According to Meyer’s most recent contract extension, which university records show he signed on April 6, 2015, winning the East Division comes with a $50,000 performance bonus.
Winning the division then sent the Buckeyes to Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship game, where they defeated previously unbeaten Wisconsin, 27-21. The contract calls for a $100,000 bonus to Meyer for winning the Big Ten title game.
Following the Big Ten game, Ohio State hoped to earn a place in the College Football Playoff’s top four and earn a berth in a national semifinal, though the CFP committee chose Alabama over Ohio State.
Still, the Buckeyes were placed No. 5 and sent to the Cotton Bowl to play Southern California. Though it is not a national semifinal this season, the Cotton Bowl is one of the six CFP bowl games, which triggers another bonus in Meyer’s contract.
The bowl bid will pay Meyer another $200,000. If the committee had placed Ohio State inside the top four, Meyer would have been paid $250,000, according to the terms of the agreement.
Meyer, whom Ohio State will pay more than $6 million in 2017, can collect additional bonuses during the 2017-18 school year.
If Meyer is still employed at OSU on Jan. 31, 2018, the school will pay him $160,000 within 30 days.
OSU also will pay Meyer if the football team’s cumulative grade-point average for the year is higher than 3.0 at the end of the spring semester. OSU will reward Meyer with $50,000 if the team GPA is between 3.0-3.29; $100,000 if it is between 3.3-3.49; and $150,000 if it is greater than 3.5.
The contract runs through 2020.
Meyer’s current buyout if terminated without cause is $21.34 million.
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