Four days after athletic director Trev Alberts announced that coach Scott Frost would be retained for the 2022 season, we have a better understanding of Frost’s restructured contract.
The contract—which Alberts previously gave an insight into on Sports Nightly—changes Frost’s 2022 salary and buyout. Frost will earn $4 million next season instead of the previously-agreed-upon $5 million. Frost’s buyout also went from $15 million down to $7.5 million.
If Frost and the football team achieve “metrics mutually agreed to by the parties (next year),” his salary will return to $5 million for 2023 and he will receive a one-year contract extension through Dec. 31, 2027.
With that said, if Frost is fired next year, he’ll be paid the $7.5 million buyout on a prorated basis: $2.5 million in 2023 and 2024 and $1.25 million in 2025 and 2026 ($7.5 million), down from the initial price tag of $15 million total. If Frost earns the extra year in 2027 but is fired during that season, Nebraska will not owe him a buyout. If he is fired without cause prior to Oct. 1, 2022, the old buyout remains in effect.
The restructured contract also provides damages if Frost is to resign. If he voluntarily steps down between Oct. 1, 2022 and Dec. 31, 2026, Frost would owe Nebraska $2.5 million for each year through 2024 and $1.25 million for both 2025 and 2026. This update essentially puts Frost and Nebraska in a mirroring buyout agreement situation. The cost for Nebraska to fire Frost is the same amount of money Frost would owe Nebraska if he decided to return.
That update also mirrors something Alberts said earlier in the week on Sports Nightly.
“When I look at good business deals, I rarely see a good business deal where only one party has skin in the game. But if both of us have skin in the game, we’re both fairly incentivized to work really hard to be successful,” Alberts said. “He’s (Scott) talked an awful lot about how important this is to him, and in a way Scott has bet on himself, and I like that. I think that’s pretty cool.”
The update to Frost’s contract follows an extension from former athletic director Bill Moos two years ago. Moos, alongside UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green, shared at the time that the university had come to an agreement with Frost to extend his head coaching contract by two additional years. Frost signed a seven-year, $35 million deal in December of 2017. Initially, the life of the contract took him through the 2024 season. The extension in 2019 locked Frost in through the 2026 season.
In addition to the restructured contract, Frost parted ways with four of his offensive assistant coaches on Monday. Offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Matt Lubick, offensive line coach/run game coordinator Greg Austin, running backs coach Ryan Held and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco are no longer with the program, per a release from Nebraska.
Alberts said on the radio that he observed the football team closely in his four months at Nebraska. In doing so, he had a number of conversations with Frost about the direction of the program going forward. Alberts added that he doesn’t believe its the athletic director’s role to tell a head coach who to keep and let go on his staff. Instead, he’s there to ask questions.
“Most of it was fairly self evident to Scott and I think he knew certain changes needed to be made,” Alberts said. “But this was Scott’s plan. This was Scott’s plan that he brought to me.”
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.