Georgia football coach Mark Richt, under fire for his team's performance this season, has yet to sign a new contract drafted more than nine months ago. As a result, he has foregone $600,000 of the $800,000-a-year raise called for in the deal approved by the athletic association's board.
Nevertheless, the university has vowed to honor the terms of the proposed agreement retroactively. That's particularly beneficial to Richt in the event that he gets fired this year. It means he will be paid $2.5 million more than he would under his existing contract, for a total payout of $4.1 million. Under the current contract on file with the athletic association, he would be owed $1.6 million, or $800,000 per year remaining in the term.
"To me a handshake is an agreement, and the board approved it. Everybody approved it," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Friday. "Just because somebody hasn't signed it doesn't mean we're not going to honor it, if it ever reached that point. It's not like it's already done. It's not."
While the athletic association is prepared to increase Richt's payout in the event that he's fired, the school also is wooing donors to give more money to the program, including funding a planned $30.2 million indoor football practice facility.
Many Georgia fans have become increasingly frustrated with the team and Richt, after three embarrassing losses. The Bulldogs play host to Kentucky on Saturday.
• A former Weber State player who says his scholarship was not renewed following the 2012 season filed a federal lawsuit against the NCAA alleging it violates antitrust laws by forcing players to sit out a year after transferring schools.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Devin Pugh in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, where the NCAA is based, also contends NCAA rules that limit scholarships violate antitrust provisions.
The lawsuit seeks class-action status, contending the NCAA's prohibition on multi-year scholarships has injured thousands of athletes by causing them to pay millions more in tuition when their scholarships are reduced or not renewed.