Rutgers University’s top governing board on Tuesday approved an eight-year, $32 million contract with Greg Schiano to be the Scarlet Knights’ new football coach.
The move came from a unanimous decision by the board of governors, with none of the members physically present. Rutgers Athletic Director Patt Hobs and President Robert Barchi were also absent.
The approval of Schiano, who left the football coach post in 2012, marks a reversal of last month’s decision when he and the university failed to reach a deal on a compensation package.
Former Gov. Chris Christie weighed in on Schiano’s requests for air travel as part of the contract, slamming the demands. Gov. Phil Murphy also became involved in talks, saying on Twitter that he spoke with Schiano and would be “thrilled to usher in a new era” for the Scarlet Knights football team “with Greg at the helm.”
Supporters of the deal argue the high pay is necessary to attract top talent that could turn around Rutgers’ dismal performance on the football field, and that his $4 million a year salary would be on par with other Big Ten teams.
University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh earns $7.5 million a year, Purdue University Coach Jeff Brohm earns $6.6 million a year and Penn State University coach James Franklin earns $5.7 million a year.
“Count us all in if we’re gonna be in the Big Ten to be competitive,” Murphy said at an unrelated news conference yesterday.
Murphy and Schiano are scheduled to appear together at a press conference on Dec. 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hale Center on the Rutgers University Piscataway campus.
Big (Ten) deal
Schiano’s contract includes a $15,000 annual car stipend, $5,000 apparel allocation, a country club membership including fees and dues, and the promise of a new “football operations center” and indoor sports practice facility.
It also spells out private air travel for “recruiting purposes,” and, if that is not available, then first-class accommodations on a commercial flight.
Schiano would earn a $100,000 bonus if Rutgers wins the Big Ten East championship, $200,000 if they win the Big Ten championship, and hundreds of thousands of dollars more for other post season bowls.
He is guaranteed 76.875 percent of his remaining base salary if he is fired “without” cause at any point — capped at $24.6 million. Schiano would get an $8 million buyout to break the contract if he does so before Dec. 1, 2020, $6 million before Dec. 1, 2021, $4 million before Dec. 1, 2022, $3 million before Dec. 1, 2023, $2 million before Dec. 1, 2024, and $1 million if after that date.
While he scouts out a new home in the state, the university will provide Schiano 60 days of temporary housing, as well as temporary transportation and two flights to New Jersey — plus $25,000 in relocation expenses.