To get more as football coach at the University of Miami, Dennis Erickson is going to have to give more--a lot more--to leave Washington State University.
Erickson must pay Washington State $150,000 to buy out the remaining 34 months on his five-year contract and is liable for the 10 months remaining on contracts signed by nine assistant coaches on Jan. 1, said state Assistant Atty. Gen. Sally Savage.
Erickson must pay the salaries of assistants who join him in Miami or find work elsewhere. He is taking at least six assistants to Miami and leaving Craig Bray, Tom Everson and Tim Lappano in Pullman, so a “ballpark figure” would be $100,000 for that liability, Savage said.
Miami officials have said the school would not help Erickson buy out his contract directly but could provide compensation in his new contract. The Seattle Times reported that his new salary will be about $200,000 a year, compared with $80,000 in Pullman.
Contracts of Washington State head football and basketball coaches have carried the buyout language since 1977, when Warren Powers left after one season. Powers was preceded by Jackie Sherrill, who also left after a year.
“We’re intending to use basically the same contract language” for Erickson’s successor, Savage said.
Erickson was in Miami Monday, the day after he announced he was accepting the job, to meet with players, interview former coach Jimmy Johnson’s three leftover assistants and attend a press confernece.
Erickson leaves after two years at Washington State. Last season the Cougars were 9-3 and defeated Houston in the Aloha Bowl.
Washington State officials have begun the search for a replacement, with athletic director Jim Livengood meeting with football players Monday and saying he hoped to name a new coach within 10 days.