Paying Football Coaches Not to Coach: The Mounting Costs of FBS Buyouts

The Commission released an analysis of FBS football coaching buyouts at public institutions over the 2012-2021 decade, along with an updated look at buyouts of head football coaches at Power Five institutions during the last two seasons. The analysis found that Power Five programs are wasting staggering amounts of dollars in “dead money,” paying coaches not to coach, the FBS’s most vivid sign of financial dysfunction.

The amount of dead money payments in the FBS has tripled since the CFP began in fiscal 2015. In the past season and a half alone, through November 1 of this year, universities have fired 14 Power 5 head football coaches with combined contract buyouts of more than $150 million.

The Knight Commission released a PDF resource as part of its Dec. 5, 2022 meeting: