CLEMSON -- Clemson kept a clause in football coach Tommy Bowden's new contract requiring he obtain the athletic director's permission before negotiating with another prospective employer.
Bowden got his money's worth from flirting with Arkansas in December.
The university released the contract extension agreements for Bowden and basketball coach Oliver Purnell on Wednesday in compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests from The State and numerous media outlets.
Bowden landed a four-year contract through the 2014 season, while Purnell snagged a two-year extension through 2014 as well. Their signings were delayed as attorneys sifted through the language of separate contracts for their retirement plans.
"I don't think anyone lost any sleep over it because they were still getting paid," athletics director Terry Don Phillips said. "Both contracts provide security for the coaches as well as the university, so it's a two-way street."
Bowden is guaranteed to make at least $1.83 million annually, a significant bump from his $1.2 million haul a year ago.
The increase was intended to slide Bowden into the neighborhood of two other ACC coaches with comparable college resumes: Virginia Tech's Al Groh ($1.97 million) and Maryland's Ralph Friedgen ($1.69 million).
Bowden surpassed Friedgen to rank fifth among league coaches in annual compensation. Three others make more than $2 million -- Florida State's Bobby Bowden, North Carolina's Butch Davis and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer.
Purnell jumped into the upper echelon of ACC coaches and perhaps ranks as high as fifth when his retirement package is included in the terms.
After making $735,000 in guaranteed income minus the retirement money last season, he stands to net $1 million in base salary and outside income next season.
North Carolina's Roy Williams, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Maryland's Gary Williams make in excess of $1.5 million annually, while N.C. State's Sidney Lowe brings in $1.39 million and Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt reportedly makes just more than $1 million.
Getting a specific figure on Purnell's total annual compensation is tricky.
In addition to his guaranteed income, Purnell is to receive $1.3 million over the next six seasons over his contract for the retirement plan, Phillips said.
About $350,000 is already vested in the plan, which was set up when Purnell's contract was extended last season and has since been amended again.
Bowden's deal is full of incentives tied to competitive as well as academic success.
If Clemson's graduation success rate and academic progress rate are at least equal to the median ranking for ACC and SEC schools combined, he collects a $50,000 bonus.
Net that bonus, and his reward for regular-season wins more than doubles. Plus his base salary increases by 35 percent of the academic bonus plus the regular season win bonus (minus the academic bonus escalator).
Less confusing, but perhaps more interesting, is the buyout clause.
The contract is retroactive to Dec. 1, 2007.
As such, Bowden would be owed $4 million if fired before or on Dec. 1 -- just two days after the regular-season finale against South Carolina.
Buyouts are largely viewed as superficial signs of security in the college profession, but it is worth noting to note the price tag dips before bowl games instead of after -- when both schools and coaches prefer to make changes in order to secure the premium job candidates or vacancies.
Bowden's buyout then slips to $3.5 million for a year and drops by increments of $500,000 for another two years before sticking at $2 million the final three years.