Notre Dame spent more than $7 million on buyouts for former coaches last year.
How badly did Notre Dame want to get rid of Charlie Weis at the end of the 2009 football season? Badly enough to pay him $6.6 million to leave -- and that was just the beginning.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Notre Dame declared on its IRS Form 990 that it paid $6,638,403 to Weis just to get rid of him in 2009, and that the school has to continue paying Weis until December of 2015.
"Termination payment of $6,638,403 was made during the reporting period to Charles J. Weis under a separation agreement that includes much smaller annual payments through December, 2015," the university declared in its IRS forms.
Weis's pay is just the latest reminder that calling college sports "amateur athletics" is just plain silly. College sports programs are big businesses with multimillion-dollar paydays, and just because those paydays are going to coaches and administrators rather than players, that doesn't make the whole thing "amateur."
We still don't know exactly how much Notre Dame will pay Weis when it's all said and done, because those payments through 2015 don't have to be declared in advance. But suffice to say, the man will be getting significant money from Notre Dame after every one of the players he recruited is gone.
The same IRS form also revealed that Notre Dame paid former coach Tyrone Willingham a $650,000 "separation agreement" as well. So the total pay for football coaches at Notre Dame was well over $7 million -- before they got around to paying current coach Brian Kelly or any of his assistants. That's amateur athletics for you.