When Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich was fired in October 2017, Bobby Petrino's buyout, if he were to leave for another job, was cut in half from, at the time, $8.5 million to $4.25 million. A similar clause did not exist for Petrino's buyout if Louisville were to fire him. And that buyout is gigantic.
After going 26-13 in his first three seasons (2013-15) in his return to Louisville, Petrino signed a new seven-year contract worth up to $31.675 million. The new deal gave Petrino an average annual base salary of $4.525 million over the life on the contract. Two years later, Petrino is in his fifth season as Louisville head coach and coming off a season in which the Cardinals finished 4-4 in the ACC. And following their loss to Virginia in the conference opener in Week 4, things aren't great for Petrino and his program.
His initial buyout in 2016 was about $13 million, but unlike most contracts in which the buyout lowers, Petrino's buyout has gone up. If fired without cause, he is owed the remaining balance of the current year's salary (plus $500,000 for APR score) plus the base salary for the next three years. If there aren't three years remaining, he is only owed the remaining balance of the contract.
If fired after the regular season, Petrino is owed his entire base salary of $3.975 million, the 2018-19 APR bonus of $500,000, and the base salary of his next three years: $4.025 million, $4.075 million and $4.125 million.
Total (including his full 2018-19 salary because we don't know which date he'd be fired): $16.7 million
Click here for a more detailed breakdown of his buyout.