LSU Accidentally Overpaid Football Coach $1 Million In 2022, Audit Finds

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Topline

Louisiana State University overpaid football coach Brian Kelly by more than $1 million last year, according to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, adding to the coach’s already-eye-popping salary—but the payments were found to be accidental and the university has reached an agreement with the coach to recoup its money.

Key Facts

Kelly received double payments in May and June totaling $1,001,368, according to the auditor’s report.

The coach started receiving his paychecks through his limited liability company in May after previously getting paid directly, but LSU kept up the direct payments in May and June, resulting in two checks.

Last season was Kelly’s first at LSU, after he signed a 10-year, $95 million contract with the university after the end of the 2021 regular season—a deal that is also loaded with incentives.

Big Number

$500,000. That’s how big of a bonus Kelly receives at the conclusion of every season, and he gets another $500,000 if LSU wins enough games to be bowl eligible. Kelly is due to receive a $1 million bonus for LSU’s performance in 2022.

Key Background

Kelly is the fifth highest-paid college football coach in terms of base salary, according to NBC Sports, behind only USC’s Lincoln Riley, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Alabama’s Nick Saban, who leads the way with a deal that paid him $11.7 million last year. Kelly arrived at LSU in late 2021 after abruptly leaving Notre Dame, where he coached 12 seasons and amassed more wins than any coach in the program’s 136-year history. Kelly’s first season at LSU was highly successful, as he coached the team to a division title in the Southeastern Conference and a November win over Alabama, which was LSU’s first home win against the Crimson Tide since 2010.

Surprising Fact

Kelly, 61, has never won a national championship, but he’s hoping to become the fourth-straight LSU coach to win college football’s top prize. Predecessor Ed Orgeron won a national title in 2020, while Les Miles won in 2008 and Nick Saban—who coached at LSU prior to Alabama—won in 2004.

Further Reading

In The Game Of Professional Integrity, Lincoln Riley And Brian Kelly Opted To Punt (Forbes)

Forbes Business
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