Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Friday afternoon update> 

An attorney representing The Razorback Foundation told the New York Post, “What I can share at this point before digesting the entire document is that the Foundation previously demanded that Bret Bielema return the $4,555,833.29 that had been paid to him prior to the Foundation’s discovery of his multiple material breaches of the agreement. It appears that Bielema filed suit in order to avoid being sued.” Read more from the Post here.

Original article> 

Former Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema is suing the Razorback Foundation Inc. for over $7 million, various outlets have shared. The Razorback Foundation is the Arkansas organization in charge of the buyout payments to Bielema.

The suit is regarding a “breach of head coach buyout agreement” from Bielema’s firing back in late November of 2017. According to Saturday Down South, eight months ago the organization stopped sending Bielema his monthly $320,833.33 checks after they found out the Patriots were paying him just $50k annually as the team’s defensive line coach.

All told, Bielema was supposed to make just under $12 million from Arkansas as outlined by the terms of his contract.

This legal battle was something most saw Bielema coming out with after word broke that the Foundation had no plans to continue paying him in an effort to save about $7 million.

Below is the cover page of the document filed today by Bielema’s lawyers, courtesy of Pete Thamel.

Bielema left after leading Wisconsin to three straight Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl appearances and took the Razorbacks job back in 2013. He went 29-24 in five seasons before being let go after a loss to Missouri in 2017 dropped the Razorbacks to 4-8 on the year. His best season at Arkansas was an 8-5 finish in 2015.

Since leaving Arkansas, Bielema has been in the NFL. First working with the Patriots as a consultant to Bill Belichick before moving to defensive line coach last fall. This past off season he took a job with the Giants as a senior defensive assistant and coaching the outside linebackers.

The best breakdown of the ongoing legal situation I’ve seen is laid out by Variety, who break down the multiple contract Bielema signed while with the Razorbacks and also get into why this case could become a key precedent for duty to mitigate causes in coaches’ contracts.

A few years after firing Bielema, Arkansas fired Chad Morris after just 22 games and a 4-18 mark. Morris had more than four years left on his contract, meaning he’s due a buyout of just over $10 million according to the Arkansas Times.

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.