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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Razorback Foundation chief holds the line in Bielema suit

by Wally Hall | April 24, 2021 at 3:01 p.m.

I’m glad the Razorback Foundation and Bret Bielema settled their lawsuit.

One of my goals in life is to never have to go to court again. I was subpoenaed by Bielema’s attorneys and would have had to testify in January.

Yes, that is selfish on my part, but anyone who has ever been on the wrong end in court gets it.

The bottom line on the settlement is that the executive director of the foundation, Scott Varady, had the guts more than two years ago to say, nope, the foundation wasn't paying the former head football coach any more money.

Varady’s belief seemed to be that Bielema, instead of seeking another head coaching job on the college level, used his payouts to supplement his income while he transitioned to the NFL.

In 2018, Bielema spent a season with the New England Patriots making $120,000 — his unbelievable buyout allowed him to make up to $150,000 that didn’t count against his buyout. Then Bielema spent a season making $250,000 before landing a job with the New York Giants that paid $400,000.

It must have become apparent to Bielema that he was not on track to be a head coach in the NFL, and he took the head coaching job at Illinois a few months ago.

He’ll be making more than $4 million a year.

He ended up getting around $8 million in buyout from the Razorback Foundation, but the foundation saved almost $4 million in the settlement thanks to Varady.


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