Scott Frost's restructured contract includes a reduction in salary for 2022 and a much smaller buyout if Nebraska fires him after the 2022 season, but it also includes the potential for the fourth-year football coach to earn an extension.
The updated agreement, which was signed by Frost and athletic director Trev Alberts on Thursday and obtained by the Journal Star via records request, says Frost will have his salary reduced to $4 million, as Alberts confirmed Monday.
It also gives Frost the opportunity to bump his salary back to $5 million in 2023 and beyond if the program achieves certain "metrics" in 2022 that he and the university agree on. Should the Huskers achieve those metrics next year, Frost's salary will bump back up and the length of the agreement will extend by a year through Dec. 31, 2027.
If he does not achieve the mutually agreed upon metrics in 2022, his salary will remain at $4 million for 2023 and beyond.
The contract does not outline what those metrics are or if they've been agreed to at this point. A school spokesman said Friday the metrics referenced in the contract are not part of a record that is subject to an open records request.
Alberts referenced "very clearly defined expectations" for Frost in a Monday conversation with the Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald, but didn't say what they were.
"I don’t know that those will be made public — I just don’t think that’s fair — but if some coach, any coach in the Athletic Department is separated from, he or she will not be surprised, let’s put it that way," Alberts said.
As Alberts outlined Monday, Frost's buyout after the 2022 season will be cut to $7.5 million, cut in half from the original $15 million before the pair agreed to the restructured pact. Interestingly, those changes go into force on Oct. 1, 2022, which is the date of Nebraska's sixth game of next season.
Beginning then, Frost would be due $2.5 million for each of the 2023 and 2024 seasons and then $1.25 million for each of 2025 and 2026 if he were fired without cause. Those numbers are simply 50% of their original amounts.
If Frost earns the extra year but is fired during it (2027), no buyout is due.
The updated agreement also imposes heavy damages on Frost if he resigns from his post.
Should he voluntarily step down between Oct. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2026, Frost owes $2.5 million for each year through 2024 and $1.25 million for each of 2025 and 2026.
Essentially, Frost and the university now have mirroring buyout agreements. It would cost NU the same amount of money to separate from Frost on its terms as it would cost Frost to leave on his own.
Alberts on Monday said he wanted each side to have equal "skin in the game."
“The university is taking risk in bringing Scott back, right? There’s risk," Alberts said. "I thought it was important that we mitigate some of our risk with him taking some risk. At the end of the day, there’s no guarantee of success, but in my experience, if two parties have equal skin in the game — I’ve learned that from some of my business-leader mentors — and all hands are on deck, you’ve got a better and more reasonable chance for success.
“I really want to credit him for that. Scott has talked very openly about how much this job means to him. He’s talked openly about how much he loves Nebraska. I’m not sure that there’s a better indicator of that reality than his willingness to help mitigate some of the risk. I think that’s important.”
'Nebraska showing some old-school patience': What people are saying about Scott Frost returning, 4 assistants out
Parker with the particulars
Much more coming from the LJS and OWH sit-down with Trev Alberts today, but here's one bit: It's pretty clear Scott Frost is going to hire a play-caller for his offense.— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) November 9, 2021
Also, NU's $5 million pool for assistants remains, but Alberts told Frost the final number has some flex.
Encouragement from the chancellor
I’ve had great confidence in Scott Frost from the beginning and still do. No one in Nebraska wants to win more than he does. Scott will continue to take the steps necessary to bring the football program to where it needs to be and I very much look forward to watching him do that. https://t.co/idw2tJwwTF— Ronnie D. Green (@RonnieDGreen) November 8, 2021
What could Frost's restructured contract look like?
Over the past year-plus, Jim Harbaugh and Scott Frost both agreed to restructured contracts to remain head coach. If Frost's is anything like Harbaugh's, I think it's great. All CFB coaching contracts should be lower bases/guaranteed money + incentives based on actual success.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) November 8, 2021
What's that they say about patience again?
In a year when schools have been tripping over each other to fire coaches ASAP, Nebraska showing some old-school patience/faith that the record doesn't tell the whole story.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 8, 2021
Refreshing for some Huskers fans, depressing for others?
Too close to start over, says this FOX broadcaster
Ready to put speculation in rearview
Frost will be back next year with a restructured contract.— Meg (@hotmesshusker) November 8, 2021
While I'm really going to miss reading everyone and their mom's opinion about what they think should happen, I'm glad the speculation is over and we can get back to tweeting at Trev to bring back blonde Herbie.#gbr
'Close' to getting over the hump with Frost
I’m all for this! As frustrating as this season’s been, this team’s stronger than last season, and Scott Frost is close to getting over the hump with this squad.— Josh Idachaba (@JoshIdachaba) November 8, 2021
These last two games (both winnable) are a great opportunity to get a statement win and build momentum for 2022. https://t.co/e3Mx8LHddf
Bringing out the GIFs for the occasion
All it takes is a little time
Giving the alum the benefit of the doubt
Keeping Scott Frost has a lot of parallels to the decisions Georgetown hoops had as Ewing struggled early - there’s nowhere else to go, as an alum he has a lot of goodwill that will never extinguish. In GU’s case the faith worked but we stayed true to self and BE. Not NU case— Lorenzo Cortes (@Hoyatexas) November 8, 2021
The price tag on removing Frost is too high, some say
Where have we heard this sentiment before?
Props to #Nebraska for making the right decision:— Embrik Eyles (@EmbrikEyles) November 8, 2021
23-16 loss at #3 OU
23-29 loss at #23 MSU in OT
32-29 loss vs #9 Michigan
30-23 loss at Minnesota
28-23 loss vs Purdue
26-17 loss vs OSU
Scott Frost and the Corn Huskers are so close, no reason to get rid of him! https://t.co/rdDLzZR0kE
Husker O-lineman on coaching shakeup
Damn— Teddy Prochazka (@TeddyProchazka) November 8, 2021
6 not 3
Nebraska football finally figured it out — you’re not the coaching destination you think. Keep a guy that loves the Huskers and has shown he can win as a coach. Just not easy to win quickly at Nebraska anymore. It’s a 6 year rebuild. Not a 3.— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) November 8, 2021
A not-so-official statement from ex-Husker
Happy to move on past the rumors
I'm just happy the "Scott Frost is on the chopping block" narrative can go away now. Very happy to have him back for another year. He's the guy for this program— Jake Brown (@BandanaBrown) November 9, 2021
Money moves by Trev Alberts
So, Trev Alberts is basically giving Scott Frost one more season to end the misery, and to show any sign of noteworthy progress, and he took a million from Frost's salary and cut the $15 million buyout in half. That's doing your job as AD under difficult circumstances.— Pat Harty (@PatHarty) November 9, 2021
Less cash for Frost, more to attract new assistants?
It seems to me that Frost restructured contract in part to create more money for the pending staff hires that he will now be making...ADs think of coaching money in a large pool...They created close to $3M in room for the new hires with the exact same total pool— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) November 9, 2021
Loyalty prevails on this day
Bob Devaney told me “Once a Husker, always a Husker”Never been prouder of being a Husker than I am today. @TrevAlberts did the right thing. Loyalty, not blind loyalty, should carry the day. “Scott Frost is one of Us” Well said Trev. @coach_frost PS: let’s get back to option.— McGraw Milhaven (@McGrawMilhaven) November 9, 2021
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.