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Northern Illinois vs. Nebraska, 9/16/17

Nebraska coach Mike Riley bows his head as the final seconds tick off against Northern Illinois at Memorial Stadium in September. Nebraska lost 21-17.

Mike Riley is taking a seemingly steep discount at Oregon State and, as a result, Nebraska will be on the hook for much of the former head coach's buyout.

According to The Oregonian, Riley will make $50,004 annually as the assistant head coach to first-year head coach Jonathan Smith.

As a starting point, NU owed Riley $170,000 per month through February 2021 — a total of $6.63 million beginning Dec. 1, 2017 — after he was fired with more than four years remaining on his contract. That total is mitigated by future earnings, but Riley's low salary means his new position at OSU will only save NU about $4,000 per month.

The new math works out to a monthly payment from NU to Riley of $165,833.

From Feb. 1, the school still owes Riley around $6,135,821.

Over that 37-month span, the subtraction would save NU a little more than $154,000.

Interestingly, though, Riley's low salary may help the Huskers in an indirect way. OSU is committed to paying its staff more overall, and former Nebraska linebackers coach Trent Bray is on staff. His contract, signed Dec. 21 and obtained Friday by the Journal Star, calls for an annual salary of $300,012. Over 13 months beginning Jan. 1, that should save NU around $325,013. 

Salary information for Donté Williams, now coaching outside linebackers at Oregon, is not yet known. 

Contact the writer at 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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