Why Taggart landing at FAU is good (financially) for FSU

Florida State is on the hook for Willie Taggart’s $18 million buyout.

But the amount should be reduced by the amount that Florida Atlantic pays Taggart, who was hired on Wednesday night. Under Taggart’s letter of agreement with FSU, the university’s “obligation shall be subject to a mitigation offset in the event you secure subsequent employment prior to the University’s full satisfaction of such payments.”

Taggart will earn $750,000 on a deal that runs through Dec. 31,2014, with an annual retention bonus of $25,000. There are also bonuses for playing in the conference title game, bowl games, a College Football Playoff Game or if he has a top-10 or top-25 finish.

Let’s play with the numbers and state that Taggart earns just the $775,000 annually without earning any bonuses. Here’s how it could help FSU financially:

FSU owes Taggart 85 percent of his $5 million annual salary. Under the letter of agreement that was signed in December 2017, Taggart would be paid on a normal schedule (twice per month) through the end of his six-year deal in January 2024. (Note that it’s possible Taggart’s FSU buyout could be paid until 2024 or payments could be spread out over a longer period of time. It’s not clear if the payment schedule has been adjusted.)

Taggart is owed 85 percent of his annual salary ($4.25 million) as part of his $5 million letter of agreement – he did not sign a contract, per an FSU spokesperson. Presuming the LOA is binding, Taggart’s $4.25 million annual salary from FSU could be reduced to a $3.475 million obligation.

That may not sound like much, but FSU athletics and Seminoles Boosters just saved $775,000 each year that Taggart is with FAU.

On Thursday, Taggart was welcomed in Boca Raton. As part of the discussion with media, he addressed his dismissal from FSU.

“You gotta win fast,” Taggart told the Palm Beach Post and other media in Boca Raton on Thursday. “I thought we had things going in the right direction and unfortunately we just didn’t get enough time to finish it. Florida State is a prideful place with great tradition and they’ve never been in a situation like that before. No one there really knew how to get out of it or knew how long. Everybody just wanted to win again. It don’t work that way. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to see it through.

“They got some talent there, some good young talent and they’ll win. They hired a good coach in coach Norvell and he’ll do a good job there. Those players will be older and they’ll do a good job.

“It’s tough when David (Coburn) had to tell you that. He really didn’t want to tell me that but he had to. It’s part of the business. There’s no ill will. I know I gave it my all and I felt like it was going in the right direction. Again, it wasn’t fast enough for some people and that’s the world we live in now. But I wish them nothing but the best so excited I’m here now.”

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