Tuberville used letter to resign; will get $5M buyout

Published 7:38 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Tommy Tuberville quit as Auburn’s football coach with a short resignation letter that did not detail his reasons but put in writing that he will receive $5.08 million under a buyout clause.

The university released a copy of the two-paragraph letter Thursday to The Associated Press. An Auburn spokeswoman said the letter and the coach’s employment contract were the only documents surrounding Tuberville’s departure, which some Tuberville supporters have said was a forced resignation.

In Tuberville’s letter to athletics director Jay Jacobs, the coach said he decided to quit “after long consideration.” It was dated Dec. 3, the day Tuberville’s departure was announced.

Tuberville wrote that he would get the buyout money even though he was quitting. Jacobs wrote a one-word response: “Agreed.”

Under his contract, Auburn was required to pay Tuberville millions to purchase the remainder of his time at Auburn should officials decide to fire him. The school was under no obligation to pay him if he quit. Tuberville’s letter said he was quitting, but it said the $5.08 million would be paid as specified under the buyout “nonwithstanding my resignation.”

University officials have said Tuberville quit after 10 years; his mother told a newspaper he was fired. Tuberville hasn’t publicly explained the details of his decision to leave Auburn.

There is no mention in the resignation documents of any restrictions on Tuberville’s future employment.