After two days of negotiations in Ft. Collins, CO, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley returned to Gainesville, Fla. without Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain.
Whenever there are rumors involving NCAA Division 1 head coaches, we can expect the “ripple effect” coaching carousel rumors to run rampant. So it was with great anticipation that after days of dual-city media stakeouts, McElwain would, in fact, be named Florida’s new head football coach today.
What many didn’t anticipate, was McElwain’s $7.5 million buyout with the Rams being an issue.
Colorado State is in the Mountain West Conference, and McElwain lead the Rams to an impressive 10-2 season this year. Considering that Florida is in the Southeastern Conference, many believed that it would be easy to poach McElwain out of Ft. Collins.
Denver Post writer Terry Frei posted the “extenuating circumstances” clause in McElwain’s contract today:
“Notwithstanding the above, the Parties acknowledge, understand and agree that in the case or event of extenuating circumstances the University’s President shall have the discretion, but not the obligation, to reduce in whole or in part McElwain’s obligation to play Liquidated Damages to the University. McElwain shall have the right to request that the parties engage in a good faith discussion of such Liquidated Damages amount prior to McElwain providing formal notice to the University of his decision to terminate this Agreement without cause, and in such event the University agrees to engage in such discussion, although the University has no obligation to reduce in whole or in part McElwain’s obligation to pay Liquidated Damages, with an understanding and acknowledgment that time will be of the essence in coming to a final decision.”
Apparently Florida tried negotiating the buyout down to $3 million, but it’s clear that Colorado State in the driver’s seat with this one, and is refusing to budge on negotiations. And despite conflicting reports, Colorado’s Newstalk 1310 KFKA News and Sports Director, Troy Coverdale reported that per “sources on the ground, ” a team meeting did not take place today.
According to Associated Press reporter Mark Long, Foley has indicated that movement is likely, but said, “we’re not there yet.”
*Section Photo credit to Associated Press; Featured Photo (above) credit to Colorado State