Ex-Notre Dame Coach Weis's Buyout Totals $18.97M

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The final tab is in: Former Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis ended up receiving $18,967,960 from the university as a buyout for being fired in 2009.

The amount of the final installment -- 2,054,742 for the 2015 calendar year -- was disclosed on Notre Dame's new federal tax return, which was released Monday.

The filing did not mention this would be the end of Weis' payments the way the others did. Previous filings noted Weis was being paid through December 2015 as part of the termination agreement.

Weis received a little more than $6.6 million in buyout pay from the school in 2009 and got about $2.05 million in each subsequent year. In addition, he was reported by the school to have received $469,727 in 2010 from Play By Play Sports LLC, an outside multimedia and marketing rights entity that is part of Notre Dame Sports Properties.

Private colleges and universities are organized as non-profit organizations, which means they must annually file a tax return that includes information about the pay of their most highly compensated employees. Although the returns mostly cover fiscal years that involve parts of two calendar years, the IRS requires that the compensation reporting cover the most recently completed calendar year.

Weis was paid nearly $10.3 million by Notre Dame between 2010 and 2014. During that time, he also worked as an assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs and the University of Florida. He became the head coach at Kansas in 2011, which paid him $2.5 million per season. When he was fired by Kansas in 2014, the school owed a gross amount of $5.6 million under his contract in addition to what he was getting from Notre Dame and Play By Play Sports. After a variety of deductions, Kansas actually paid Weis a total of a little more than $5.4 million.

Additionally, in 2009 while Notre Dame was paying Weis, the university was still paying former coach Ty Willingham's buyout of $650,000.

The new return also listed the compensation of other Notre Dame athletics employees.

Football coach Brian Kelly was credited with more than $1.6 million, including just more than $990,000 in base salary and $450,500 in bonus pay. But the return -- as in other years -- noted that Kelly is permitted to "receive compensation from external sources with prior written approval from the university."

Athletics director Jack Swarbrick was credited with a total of just over $3.1 million in compensation for 2015, but Notre Dame said $900,000 of that amount had been reported on prior returns as deferred compensation.

Setting aside that $900,000, Swarbrick's pay for 2015 was a little more than $2.2 million, including almost $970,000 in bonus compensation and $995,000 in basic pay.

The $2.2 million total is about $600,000 more than Swarbrick has ever made in a year at Notre Dame. He was credited with just over $1.6 million in 2014, including $226,000 in deferred compensation.

Former Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who was fired by Kelly last September, received $1.1 million in his second season with the program.

Men's basketball coach Mike Brey received $2.3 million over the reporting period, including $1.17 million from the school and $1.15 million from Play By Play Sports.

Women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw made $1.7 million, with $1.4 million coming from the school and $300,00 from Play By Play Sports.

Contributing: Steve Berkowitz of USA TODAY Sports. Litman covers for Notre Dame for The Indianapolis Star, part of the USA TODAY Network.

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May 16, 2017


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