Nebraska vs. Iowa, 11/24/17

Nebraska coach Mike Riley watches the action against Iowa in 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska at one point had three head football coaches on its payroll, but that number is now down to two. 

And by March 2019, current coach Scott Frost will be the only one drawing a salary from NU. 

Former head coach Mike Riley was paid a lump sum of $6.2 million, fulfilling the university's obligation to the former coach, who was fired Nov. 25, 2017, after a three-year run at NU. 

The school confirmed payments Friday morning to Riley and former Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst after Athletic Director Bill Moos referenced them on the Sports Nightly radio program Thursday evening.

Each had contract language that stipulated monthly payments until he gained new employment, at which point a lump sum could be calculated and paid out. 

Riley was paid $6,235,393, covering obligations from Dec. 6, 2017 through the end of his original contract term on Feb. 29, 2021. 

Eichorst was paid $762,439, covering obligations from June 20, 2018, through the end of his term on June 30, 2019. 

A university official said the actual payments would have occurred within a few weeks the Dec. 6 and June 20 marks, respectively. 

"We really don’t have that much debt left," Moos said Thursday night. "We went ahead and absorbed it last year to get it behind us, and we felt that we had a good enough year revenue-wise that we could handle that. Those things for the most part are behind us, and we’re moving forward at this point."

Riley, of course, became an assistant and then a consultant — though not a highly paid one — at Oregon State and now will leave the school after the conclusion of the season to coach San Antonio's team in the Alliance of American Football. 

Eichorst was hired at the University of Texas in June as an executive senior associate athletics director for internal affairs.

When Riley was fired, he had about $6.6 million remaining on his contract. That number would have been mitigated slightly when he was hired at Oregon State, but he agreed to a salary of $50,004 per year there. That would have knocked a $171,000 payment back slightly to $165,833. 

Given the totals of each payment, it appears NU moved fast to pay each off after each had secured employment elsewhere. 

Former head coach Bo Pelini, per an NU official, opted to continue receiving monthly payments instead of a lump sum, which is why he is still on the payroll. His contract term, though, ends Feb. 28, 2019, meaning the school has just three payments left to him.

Then Frost will be the only head football coach receiving money from Nebraska.

"It’s water under the bridge," Moos said. "They’re paid off and we're on into the future."

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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