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UCLA Football: Chip Kelly’s Contract Has Some Interesting Provisions

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The contract includes a “Baylor Clause” as well as a clause assigning copyrightable work to the university.

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NCAA Football: UCLA-Head Coach Chip Kelly Press Conference Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It took more than a month for Chip Kelly’s contract to become available. That’s because it actually wasn’t signed until December 22, 2017. It does indicate that there was a Memorandum of Agreement that was signed on November 24, 2017, which was the Friday after Thanksgiving, but the contents of that are irrelevant because the employment contract supersedes it.

It’s interesting to watch the evolution of UCLA’s employment contracts. This one, for instance, is substantially different from Jim Mora’s contract. The writing style indicates that this contract was clearly drafted by someone else.

One of the more interesting additions to Kelly’s contract is a “Baylor clause.” Paragraph 8 indicates that Kelly is a “Responsible Employee” under Title IX. This means that he is required to inform UCLA’s Title IX officer if he becomes aware of a student who has experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment or other behavior prohibited by University policy. The clause is as unambiguous as possible and it indicates that he must report it directly to the Title IX office, even if he is unsure the incident actually occurred. It also states that he should not try to investigate, intervene or resolve the issue.

Another interesting addition that we haven’t seen before in a coaching contract is the assignment of intellectual property rights to the University. Paragraph 16 lays this out. Any copyrightable works that Kelly creates as the UCLA Bruins coach will be assigned to the University under this clause.

Personally, I’m not sure what could possibly fall under this clause, but it seems that it would be a pretty common clause in most university contracts, especially for research professors.

Of course, the previously announced details are included. Paragraphs 9 and 14 layout the mutual $9M buyout clauses. UCLA is required to pay the buyout if Kelly is terminated without cause in year 1 through year 4. Kelly would be required to pay UCLA a buyout if he leaves before the completion of year 4.

Unlike Coach Mora’s contract, Coach Kelly’s contract does not include a mitigation clause requiring Kelly to look for work and offsetting the buyout by the amount he is paid at the new job.

But, given that the buyout clause is only effective for the first four years, it seems reasonable that UCLA will want Kelly to be around for at least that time.

The rest of the financial terms are contained in the Contract Addendum, which starts on page 16. The first thing the addendum does is lay out the contract year. It also indicates Kelly’s base compensation, which is $300,000 per year as well as Kelly’s talent fee which is $3M for the first contract year, $3.2M for the second contract year, $4M for the third and $4.3M for the fourth and fifth contract years.

The usual performance bonuses are there also. Kelly will receive bonuses for the number of wins the team has as well as how the team fares in any conference championship games and bowl games. The size of the bowl bonuses depend upon which bowl game tier the team plays in. There is are bonuses for finishing in the AP Top Ten and Top Five as well as for being named either Conference Coach of the Year or National Coach of the Year.

The addendum also includes academic bonuses if the team achieves a graduation success rate of 70% or more as well as a tiered series of bonuses for the team Academic Progress Rate.

Kelly will be paid several retention bonuses if he remains at UCLA. The first is payable if he is still employed as of February 15, 2021. The second is payable if he’s still employed as of February 15, 2022. The third is payable if he’s still employed as of February 15, 2023. In each case, the bonus is $1M.

Kelly will receive a suite at the Rose Bowl and have his moving expenses paid for in compliance with University policy, subject to written approval in advance. However, unlike Jim Mora, Kelly will not receive use of any cars or a country club membership. While the contract doesn’t mention access to a home loan, because the University of California has a home loan policy for employees, I would guess that he will likely have access to that, if needed.

Here is Coach Kelly’s complete contract.

What are your thoughts about this contract? Leave them in the comments below.


Go Bruins!!!