Auburn’s Chizik profiting even without formal contract

By David Moorman  |   Thursday, May 21, 2009  |  Comments( 2 )

College Football
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Auburn first-year football coach Gene Chizik didn’t sign a contract during his first five months of work, but don’t think he’s working for free.

Chizik isn’t in danger of being terminated in the near future, either, particularly after the $5.1 million buyout Auburn agreed to pay predecessor Tommy Tuberville once he resigned.

Chizik is doing all right for himself with his two-page letter of agreement that indicates he will make $1.9 million annually (plus unspecified performances bonuses) over the next five years. Chizik signed the letter with Auburn president Jay Gogue on Dec. 13, 2008.

Open-records acts requests from various statewide media outlets forced Auburn to release the two-page letter. University officials have said Chizik will soon sign a formal contract.

Legal maneuverings often delay the signing of formal contracts. For instance, Alabama coach Nick Saban went six months before officially signing his contract.

The difference, of course, is that Saban already had proven himself to be a winner. He won the 2003 BCS national championship at LSU, and in his second year at Alabama had the Crimson Tide in contention last season. Chizik was 5-19 in two years as Iowa State’s head coach.

Saban has given Alabama good return on its money. The verdict remains out on Chizik.

ALABAMA LOSES LINEBACKER: If Alabama is to prosper this fall, it will have to do so without senior linebacker Prince Hall, who announced that he is transferring to Central Washington. Of course, the Crimson Tide figures to weather Hall’s defection, even if he did start 14 of the 36 games in which he appeared over the last three years. Hall, from Moreno Valley, Calif., recorded 152 total tackles (13 for losses) with three quarterback sacks.

BY THE NUMBERS: LSU has retired the jersey of former standout Tommy Casanova, the only three-time All-American in school history.

Casanova, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, played for the Tigers from 1969-71. He is one of LSU's two three-time All-Southeastern Conference performers.

The versatile Casanova played offense, defense, and returned punts and kickoffs while wearing No. 37. During his eight-year NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals, he earned his medical degree and is now an ophthalmologist in Crowley, La.

Under a new provision of LSU's jersey retirement bylaws, a current student-athlete may still wear still wear the jersey number if the head coach so desires.

Billy Cannon is the only other LSU football player to have his jersey retired. Cannon also is the Tigers’ only Heisman Trophy winner. Because Cannon’s jersey was retired before Jan. 1, 2007, no one can wear his No. 20 again.
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About David Moorman

Dave Moormann is an award-winning journalist, who has covered LSU athletics since 1980. He began his coverage with the Baton Rouge Advocate, where he was a writer and editor from 1980-98. In 1996, he authored a book on the history of LSU football entitled, "Fighting Tigers Handbook: Stories, Stats...
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