AUBURN — The Tigers Unlimited Foundation, the fundraising arm of Auburn athletics, lost over $9 million on paper in the 2013 fiscal year due in large part to the buyouts owed to former football coach Gene Chizik and his coaching staff.
TUF opened the 2012-2013 fiscal year with $54,041,321 and ended the year with $44,975,580, according to Auburn University’s 2013 Financial Report. Nearly all of the loss came from $8,779,544 in contracts payable, a nonexistent expense for TUF in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, with the buyouts to Chizik and his staff making up the entire sum, according to Auburn athletic directorJay Jacobs.
Jacobs characterized the loss as a matter of accounting principles, as the full $7.7 million buyout owed to Chizik and roughly $1 million owed to his former staff, after their offsetting salaries earned at new positions, was allocated entirely in the first year of their termination even though the buyouts are paid out over the full remaining term.
Chizik and his staff were bought out for what was an initial total of $11.09 million the morning after the 2012 Iron Bowl and the Tigers’ 3-9 season. Only former wide receiver coach Trooper Taylor, now with Arkansas State, did not have a coaching job last season.
Auburn owed Taylor $212,500 this year, with Arkansas State giving him just $6,000 in benefits during his first six months.
Former offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes were all assistants under Chizik who were owed some portion of their contracts from Auburn after finding new jobs last season, and are now all off the books.
Chizik still receives monthly payments of $209,457.84, according to Open Alabama Financial Reports, and will continue to do so through June 2016.
Former basketball coach Tony Barbee’s $2.4 million buyout will likely be allocated in the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Tigers Unlimited is a component of the overall Auburn athletics budget, which listed a loss of $865,994 in the 2013 fiscal year in its NCAA financial report.
Jacobs said the program had to use its cash reserves, which still have “about $15 million,” to cover the losses in the 2013 fiscal year and approximately $5 million of unbudgeted investments in infrastructure for the forthcoming SEC Network.