New Texas football coach Tom Herman, left, and UT president Gregory Fenves, right, leave a news conference where Herman was introduced to the media, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

BEVO BEAT Football

Texas will settle Tom Herman’s Houston buyout with a $2.5 million check

Posted December 12th, 2016

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Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek wanted to schedule football and men’s basketball games against Texas as a way to offset UT coach Tom Herman’s $2.5-million buyout.

But Texas athletic director Mike Perrin declined the offer and will just send cash, Yurachek told Houston reporters on Monday.

“We gave them an option for a home-and-home basketball and football series if we wanted to agree on a value for those two entities and reduce that off the $2.5 (million),” Yurachek said. “But Mike Perrin has called me and told me that is not an option that’s on the table anymore.”

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A UT spokesman said Perrin preferred to keep his conversations with Yurachek private.

When the Texas regents met to approve Herman’s contract on Dec. 3, there was no mention of how the Longhorns would handle the buyout in Herman’s Houston contract. At the time, UT President Gregory L. Fenves said the buyout was being negotiated.

Texas officials wasted no time scheduling any games with Louisville officials in January 2014. When the school hired Charlie Strong, Texas simply cut a check for $4.375 million to pay for Strong’s buyout.

Generally, most UT coaches would be happy to play in Houston, a huge recruiting base. However, there may be some skepticism about Herman playing his old school, which is now led by UT legendary quarterback Major Applewhite.

Texas men’s coach Shaka Smart has said numerous times he wants to play in Houston. In fact, the Longhorns will be there on Saturday to play Arkansas at the Toyota Center.

UT’s football program hasn’t played Houston since 2002. The two teams last played in the city of Houston in 2001, a game marked by the controversial removal of about 4,100 temporary bleachers.

Texas fans gobbled up those seats, but then-UH president Arthur Smith ordered them removed due to safety concerns. Then-UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds said, “This situation is absolutely out of whack, and I’m sick about it.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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