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OSU, Tressel agree to 7 years

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COLUMBUS - How much is a national title and a 4-1 record against Michigan worth? Seven years and more than $2 million per season.

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel will be paid almost $2.4 million this season as part of a new seven-year contract, the school said yesterday.

Tressel has yet to sign the contract, Ohio State spokesman Steve Snapp said. Snapp said the sixth-year coach and Ohio State officials have agreed in principal to the figures.

The contract is retroactive to Feb. 1, 2006, and runs through Jan. 13, 2013. Tressel will receive almost $1.9 million in salary this season, in addition to a $500,000 signing bonus. In the final year of the contract, Tressel will be paid $2.7 million.

"Jim Tressel is one of the finest football coaches in the country and we felt it was important to get him near the top nationally in terms of compensation," OSU athletic director Gene Smith said.

Under his previous contract, set to expire after the 2008 season, Tressel would have been paid around $1.8 million this season.

In his five years with the Buckeyes, Tressel is 50-13 and his teams have shared two Big Ten titles and won the 2002 national championship. Ohio State is 4-1 in bowl games and 4-1 against rival Michigan under Tressel. The Buckeyes carry a seven-game winning streak into the 2006 season, with almost all of their offensive starters but only two defensive starters returning.

OSU opens the season Sept. 2 at home against Northern Illinois, then plays Sept. 9 at Texas.

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