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Breaking down details behind ‘separation agreement’ between LSU & Coach O

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron(Josh Auzenne/WAFB)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 5:12 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 5:13 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Ed Orgeron’s tenure as the head football coach at LSU is coming to an end, but what does this mean for the program’s future?

LSU will pay Orgeron his full buyout, $16.8 million, over the next four years. Orgeron will receive $5 million in December and two payments of $1 million each in 2022. The final payment is scheduled for 2025.

Under the agreement, Orgeron is still considered an employee of the university and must make at least one public appearance a year for LSU.

Baton Rouge attorney Roy Maughan, Jr. said this was the best way for the school and Coach O to split ties.

“By taking this role, they’ve chosen to take the least controversial path,” Maughan said.

Maughan represents current and former players in both the NBA and NFL. Maughan is not involved in the Coach O parting.

However, based on his knowledge of sports contracts, he says the agreement gives the school flexibility in their coaching search.

“What it tells us is that they don’t have to wait to hire a new coach, because there’s a new employment agreement with Coach O even through the end of November. They can hire a new coach next week, but they’re guaranteed that they have a coach there as the head coach until the new coach is hired.”

It also means the school could make a hire before the season’s end and not worry about paying Coach O any additional money that’s not outlined in the current buyout.

“If they decide to make a hire before the end of November, they can terminate Coach O for whatever reason, pay the liquidated portion of the contract, hire a new coach, and replace him,” Maughan said.

Maughan said it’s possible Coach O could be in line for slightly more money if he decides to draw retirement based on the agreement, but he said that’s years down the line.

Maughan also believes this exit will not any financial ramifications behind the hiring of the next coach.

“We found out that even after they paid out Coach Miles that Coach O came in with a significant contract value, so I don’t think this will have any depreciable effect on what they’ll be willing to pay for a replacement coach,” Maughan said.

He thinks we could see the university make a move soon.

“My guess is they’re not going to wait later, they’re going to do it sooner,” Maughan said.

As a part of the agreement, Orgeron cannot seek any coaching opportunities in the SEC for 18 months. Orgeron said a press conference Sunday, Oct. 17, that he does not plan to coach next year.

Since winning the National Championship in 2019, Coach O’s record is 9-8. Overall, he has a record of 49-17, including going 15-0 in ‘19. Outside of the 2019 season, Coach O has a 35-17 overall record and a 30-14 record in SEC play.

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