JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The sum is staggering, more than an estimated $20 million — to not coach anymore.
When Florida State cut ties with coach Willie Taggart on Sunday, it triggered the buyout clause in his contract. That amount really meant that the Seminoles didn't think that Taggart was the right guy to lead the program.
According to multiple reports, the buyout on Taggart's contract is between $17 and 18 million, 85% of what he was scheduled to earn as part of a six-year, $5 million per year deal that he signed not even two years ago.
Factor in what the Seminoles also had to pay to hire Taggart and that number climbs above $20 million.
Florida State paid Taggart's $3 million buyout when it hired him from Oregon and the remainder of Taggart's buyout ($1.3 million) that Oregon owed to South Florida from when it hired Taggart.
With a 9-12 record at Florida State and the Seminoles in danger of not qualifying for a bowl game for the second straight season, it was expected that Florida State would address the Taggart situation at some point. But Sunday's news was still a surprise, considering the financial implications.
An ESPN report by Mark Schlabach said that boosters raised $20 million to cover Taggart's buyout, although Florida State has denied that.