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So it will actually cost $18 million to fire Stoops, which is a lot


You thought that $12 million buyout is bad? Oh, it is actually much, much worse.

According to The Herald-Leader, the university will have to cough up somewhere in the neighborhood of $17.898 million in payouts to remove Mark Stoops and his staff of their current duties with the football program. All the talk has been of Stoops’ $12 million buyout, but that figure does not take into account the salaries of his assistant coaches. So once you add it all up, Barnhart is looking at closer to $18 million to fire Stoops after this season.

That’s a whole lot of coin to cough up to start this whole process all over again. Let’s hope Stoops turns this thing around in the coming weeks so that money can be put toward something else, assuming that money exists at all. (It probably doesn’t.)

Eighteen million. Yeesh.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

57 Comments for So it will actually cost $18 million to fire Stoops, which is a lot

  1. nybrasky
    11:51 am September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Stoops’ agent deserves a raise and a bigger cut.

  2. cats paw
    11:52 am September 13, 2016 Permalink

    this $$ needs to come out of Barnfarts salary! i have no issues hiring a 1st time coach and basically training him on the job but to make a 1st time coach the 13th highest paid coach (after 2 losing seasons) shows that Barnfart is totally lost in evaluating coaching talent

    • Mathlete
      11:59 am September 13, 2016 Permalink

      He was desperate to not start over again, there were a lot of good jobs possibly coming open midway through last season and he saw Stoops having success up to that point. I’ll give him credit for trying to lock down someone who was having success at the time, but that was a huge gamble that’s starting to look shaky

  3. Bluebloodtoo
    11:58 am September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Those numbers tell me there is no way that Stoops is being released after this year. If he does, we won’t have a budget to hire a mid major coach to replace him. We better all find a way to get along, because replacing him isn’t an option.

    • Mathlete
      12:00 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      We wouldn’t have the budget to hire a part time high school girls’ volleyball assistant coach after $18mil gone

    • Booby Petrino
      12:09 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Did someone say volleyball assistant? Bobby loves him so volleyball coaches!

  4. stoopstroops
    11:59 am September 13, 2016 Permalink

    I think he should get another year regardless of what happens this year. He has a OC in his first year and a load of young talent. If Stoops somehow does not grow these players as Juniors and Seniors next season into being competitive every game then it will on to the next HC. But give the guy his due time. As for the buyout, it is completely mind blowing that he is getting paid as much as he is for what he has done on the field.

    • UK Fan In Nashville
      12:16 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Ugh, I can’t wrap my head around people that still believe he needs time.

    • Kernel Sanders
      12:20 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Give him his due time? Year 4 and we are marching backwards. His players look to have quit on him. If his record was trending upward, if his “young players” were trending upward, if the young players were showing any hints of development and improvement, then maybe he earns more time.

      Southern Miss had a 1st year coaching staff. They are CUSA. They came to our field and beat us. Stoops has had his due time.

      He will get another year due to Barnhart’s financial irresponsibility. If this program continues to stink it up the rest of the year, he should NOT get another year, but he probably will.

    • ukcamel
      12:21 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      I’m going to say he needs more time because we can’t afford to fire him and I prefer delusion to misery.

    • stoopstroops
      12:25 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      This is not basketball, you can not turn it around with 1 or 2 recruiting classes. It takes time, it takes 5 or 6 in a row that actually pan out. Not 4 in a row that look good on paper in high school. Southern miss 1st year Coach inherited a winning team leader, not the case here.

    • Kernel Sanders
      12:33 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      stoopstroops, I give up. What part of NO MEASURABLE IMPROVEMENT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE do you not understand?? You can have umpteen below average recruiting classes with below SEC average talent. I get that. But no matter the talent level, a WELL COACHED team will at least show that they can run a route, cover a receiver, tackle a runner, complete a pass. Heck, forget even that. They should be showing fire and guts and fight. They don’t.

      There is NO improvement in year 4 in any area. On many levels, we are worse than the first year he took over. In my opinion, the “highly ranked recruiting classes” don’t mean squat unless they look like they have played football at some level.

    • Billy Hill
      1:26 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      StoopsPoops…Did you not read this article on KSR…

      Year four is one of the most critical years for college football head coaches. Three SEC head coaches are currently in their fourth year. Two have had success, one has not.

      Bret Bielema of Arkansas and Butch Jones of Tennessee have turned their football programs around. Mark Stoops, simply, has not.

      Bielema has lead his Razorbacks to a 20-20 record, starting 2-0 this season. Bielema has gone from 0-8 to 2-6 and 5-3 in SEC play in Bielema’s first there seasons. Arkansas did not make a bowl game under Bielema’s first season, but have the past two seasons. Arkansas is 2-0 under Bielema in bowl games with wins at the Texas and Liberty Bowl.

      Since Jones look over the reigns at Tennessee, he has posted a record of 23-17 and started this season 2-0. After going 5-7 in his first season, Jones turned the table and took his Volunteers to two straight bowl games with a win at both the TaxSlayer and Outback Bowl.

      Mark Stoops’ resume at Kentucky does not look anything like these other two coaches. Kentucky has never had a winning record under Stoops, with a 12-26 record. Despite a third straight top 30 recruiting class, Kentucky only has one win over a ranked opponent (No.25 Missouri) and no bowl game appearances.

    • KentuckyFootballFan
      4:19 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Kernel Sander, Stoops deserves another year regardless of this season. He has done everything right for this team, our wins will come. SO wrap your head around it or do whatever you need to do but learn to be a fan and support this team no matter what.

    12:01 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Apparently Stoops and Co. will be at the helm next season, come hell or high water.

  6. AllBall
    12:01 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Lets give him another raise and contract extension. What a bonehead move.

  7. 7ukncaa
    12:10 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Is that 17 mil+ figure if we fire him on December 1st? I was under the impression that number decreases significantly after January 1, 2017?

    What 1st time head coach that has never had a winning season gets,a 12 million buyout after year 4? Has that ever been done in the history of college football? If not should Barnhart be fired for incompetence?

  8. indycatdog
    12:11 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    What would it cost to relieve (us) of Barnhart? He passed on Cal the first time for Billy Disaster. How much more crap do we take?

  9. Kindergarten Cop
    12:15 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    I’m telling you guys your wasting your time. He’s here another year. No way we can afford to pay him that much money to leave. I want to blame Barnhart but I was one of the people that were for it when they paid Stoops with 5 wins. I thought we had something too.

    • UK Fan In Nashville
      12:19 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      We were just getting started, bro!

    • Kindergarten Cop
      12:25 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      I was at that game and I really thought we were going to be good lol

  10. Kernel Sanders
    12:22 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Get Matt Bevin involved. He will simply fire Stoops and not pay him. Easy peasy!

  11. averagejoe
    12:24 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink


    The problem is that Kentucky hasn’t done enough to improve the facilities. How can a team win in the SEC without an international airport on campus? It’s not fair to judge the coach or the athletic director until we have one!

    • Poppschmidty
      12:46 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Have you been near Commonwealth at all the past 2 years?

    • RealCatsFan
      1:11 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Popps, I think your sarcasm detector is broken.

  12. RealCatsFan
    12:32 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Does Brainfart have a buyout clause in his contract? I think they should fire him immediately and bring in a junkyard dog type of AD who can immediately start looking for a successor to Stoops. In the meantime, Stoops will finish out his contract, at which point we get rid of him and go after the names on the list.

    Another thing about the contract – Stoops gets automatic raises in each year of the contract. How boneheaded can you be to give someone automatic raises with no performance incentive attached to it? Sounds like something our government would dream up for themselves.


  13. symphonist41169
    12:33 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Another obvious question (besides the $12 million buyout for Stoops) is this: who gives ASSISTANT coaches a contract that’s longer than 1 year? Maybe I’m just unaware but that seems to be as goofy as giving a head coach a contract extension and astronomical buyout before he ever gets the team to .500 and bowl eligible.

    • symphonist41169
      12:35 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      And we may as well get used to the fact that no matter how embarrassingly bad this team is this year, Stoops will be the head coach in 2017.

    • inside info2
      1:25 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      I am pretty sure assistant coaches get standard 2 year contracts and OCs and DCs get 2 or 3 year contracts, depending on how “hot” they are.

  14. sincitycat
    12:39 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Passing on Coach Cal the first time around turned out to be the right decision. We would then have had Derrick Rose as a Wildcat and our whole season would have been wiped out by the jackasses at the NCAA.

  15. Badboy
    12:45 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    By my estimates, Barnhart has already wasted at least $50 million on Tubby (last five years), Billy, Brooks and Joker. Yet HE just got an extension and a raise. He will now make over $1 million per year.

  16. Doug68
    1:07 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    18 Mil huh. I say we make him stay through his contract and suffer right along with us then.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:13 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah, he is suffering all the way to the bank.

  17. halobrad
    1:12 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    So, Rich Brooks’ best seasons were 8-5. Then go back 20 years for a 9 win season. In-between you have a bunch of 5 wins or less seasons. What good has dumping a coach ever done UK? 5 wins is about the average high-water mark for UK. Stoops has done no worse than the historical average, and he seems like he runs a pretty straight program, and it seems at least on paper that he can land talented recruits which has never been done at UK consistently. Might as well hitch your wagon to that horse for the long haul in my opinion and see if consistency is a better solution than the historical approach.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:16 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      You will have a hard time selling that when the program down the road is willing to sell their soul to hire a known scumbag who already spurned them once so that they can win football games. And so far it is working quite well for them. Add to that the fact that other SEC cellar dwellers like Vandy and Miss St have sucessfully turned their programs around.

    • halobrad
      1:27 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Did Franklin leave Vandy in a mess of some sort?

  18. oncebitten
    1:13 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Create a drug policy standard in the SEC that is consistently followed by every school and then we will see who is competitive and who is not. Until then… change in outcomes will not occur. There is a reason the same teams are at the top of the mountain every year… Yes, some players can make a difference.

  19. inside info2
    1:30 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    I’m going to say something VERY controversial here — we need BTI. A perfect article for him would be to calculate the estimated loss of revenue do to fans not showing up to games vs. the $18 million it would cost to get rid of the staff.

    I’m sure boosters would pick up a large part of the $18 million. They are not very happy right now.

  20. footblue
    1:50 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Here is what confuses me. Coaches all the time talk about honor, integrity, being man and doing what is best for the team. Lets say UK wins 3 games and is largely not competitive in the rest. Based on what coaches talk about wouldn’t and upstanding coach walk the talk and walk away?

    • secrick
      1:59 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      If i were Coach Stoops and didn’t beat N.M. by 30 points i would resign, now thats a lot of money to give up so i would take a small buy out because i would be so ashamed of what work i had done at UK.

  21. secrick
    1:56 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    I will get things started with 50.00 dollars

  22. smith3535
    2:00 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    What’s it going to cost to keep him?
    lose 25,000 season ticket holders
    That’s 7 million plus ticket donation parking passes plus parking pass donation
    that will probably put you over the 12 million for Stoops
    Then take in account the ones that leave and never come back
    The state of the program after another year like this
    Not sure dipshit barnhart can afford to keep him

  23. JoshI1985
    2:06 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Bernhearts dumbass gave him a raise and after that raise Stoops hasn’t done shit. It’s Bernhearts fault we’re stuck with him. Gave him a raise after his second season when he didn’t prove anything before hand to get the raise. Blame Bernheart (however you spell his last name, sorry if it’s misspelled)…

  24. John
    2:09 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Who cares about Kensucky Foosbaall? Basketball is only 31 days away. We just can’t play foosbaall bro.

    • KentuckyFootballFan
      4:13 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      This support will continue to be the issue

    • stoopstroops
      5:27 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      I understand that unfortunately there are “fans” that only care about basketball season. If thats the case why even get on KSR and post during football season. You are part of the problem.

  25. kycats13
    2:13 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    This is the “BIG SHORT” of college football. Someone could make a great movie out of this situation.

  26. The Professor
    2:28 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    It is quite evident that Barnhart is a poor negotiator. This contract should be enough to get him fired. Why would anyone give a huge extension to a coach who has never had a winning record? I don’t think anyone was knocking down our door to grab Stoops in the middle of his second season. He also overpays coaches in various minor sports. Look at Mathew Mitchell making over $1 million heading a program that loses over $2 million per year. He is the highest paid coach in the SEC and has won the conference once in 8 years. You can go down the line in several other sports and see that he consistently overpays. That is not good administration!
    Let’s give him grades for his major hires: Brooks-C; Joker-F; Stoops- F; Gillispie- F; Cal-A. As a GPA that would come out to a 1.5. (Panicking and hiring Gillispie should be enough to get you fired. Was there no vetting done?) Would your parents be happy if you walked in with that report card?

    • plumloopy
      5:03 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      Point taken, but I would argue the grades a bit. Joker had to be given a chance given his history with UK, that he was a top assistant in a winning program, etc., so I don’t think you can count him,


      Brooks A – If we went to bowl games consistently at Kentucky, that’s about as good as it can get. Shoot, we were even ranked on occasion.
      Stoops D – You say F, but that’s more the contract than anything else.
      Gillespie F – If you’re grading on a curve, then it should reward mediocrity in football but punish severely in basketball (see Tubby Smith). Gillespie was not only mediocre but unbalanced as well.
      Cal A – No way he gets the same grade as Brooks, but consider the curve.

      So, I’d give him a C+, but a C+ and he just spent three years’ lunch money on a magic bean, so he’s on suspension pending that beanstalk actually growing in the next year.

    • The Professor
      7:12 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      I will concede that he was pretty much compelled to give Joker a chance. However, Brooks went 39—47 overall and 16—39 in the SEC. No matter what curve you are working with that does not get close to the same grade as Cal. Stoops is 1-3 against Conference USA and had to go to overtime to beat Sunbelt and OVC teams. Shouldn’t that be enough for an F grade? Overall he is 12-26 and 4-21 in the SEC. When you take into consideration how extremely weak the SEC East has been during his tenure then it looks even worse.

  27. Sentient Third Eye
    2:43 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Both Tennessee and Arkansas were bowl-level programs that needed minor tuneups. Jones and Bielema have done that, but in either of their places Stoops could have done the same, and neither of them would have succeeded where Stoops has not. This is a major rebuild of a program from the ground up. That’s a lot more than a tuneup, and it takes time. Are the results as of today satisfactory? No, because the wins are not showing up yet. Is it time to demand change? No, because Stoops still can turn this around. Now is not the time to act like bad stereotypes of Millennials and demand results yesterday.

    • Kernel Sanders
      3:16 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      The results are not unsatisfactory just because wins are not showing up (and you say “yet” like they ever would), the results are unsatisfactory because we are on a death march backward. We are getting worse, players are not being developed, good players are not being utilized and all the while Stoops has the deer in the headlights look.

      I supported Jerry Claiborne til the end. Know why? His players were disciplined, coached up, played fundamentally well. Claiborne’s players respected him so much they would run through a wall for him. I remember other teams, even after beating us, would comment how hard UK played and how UK had some of the hardest hitting players they ever played against.

      It is time to demand change because in 3 years + 2 games there is no evidence of competence. To heck with Arkansas and Tennessee. I know we are not them. It is not too much to ask that your team actually looks like they have practiced together.

    • The Professor
      3:35 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

      You make some valid points. However, one would expect even a modicum of improvement in year four. yet we are not even competitive with Conference USA at this point. It is not just the losing. It is the incompetence shown on the sidelines and the lack of player development from year to year. How many players have we seen under Stoops that get us excited during their freshman year but just haven’t improved very much? What happens to his teams at halftime to make them fall completely apart? HIS TEAM WAS DOMINATED BY AN EKU TEAM, THAT ENDED UP FIRING THEIR COACH, FOR 3 QUARTERS! it took an exceptionally athletic play to bail us out from the most humiliating loss in school history! One would think that because of his bloodlines he would be more astute on the sidelines but I believe he may be the worst “x’s and o’s” coach in our history. Only Bill Curry comes close to his ineptitude.

  28. tkat
    3:13 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Unless Mitch has a commitment from Neal Brown to take the position, we need to keep Stoops.

  29. tlwood43
    3:34 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    You are what your record says you are.

  30. KentuckyFootballFan
    4:12 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Mark Stoops is the man for this football job. He is taking this program to a talent level we have never seen, he is a great coach who knows more about football than anyone on this message board. Give him his time and he will make all of us proud. Lets continue to support this team and be positive moving forward, we are fans, thats what we are here for. GO CATS and lets get 6 wins!

  31. JunkTwoMuch
    6:11 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Neal Brown isn’t coming here. He has a better job already.