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REPORT: Cal tried to fire Sonny Dykes for cause. Failed. $5.88 million buyout looming

The Bears are spending a lot to find their new coach.

NCAA Football: Texas at California John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Gorcey of Scout had some interesting details (click here to watch) as to WHY it took so long for Cal to fire Sonny Dykes. The explanation can be seen near the end of this video in the link above.

It’s obvious that other factors were probably at work, like the Cal bureaucracy slowly unwinding to make a decision on their coach. Jon Wilner has more on those factors.

However, if Gorcey’s reporting is to be believed, apparently the Cal Athletic Department was trying to do their best to build their case that Dykes deserved to be fired for cause, which would have greatly reduced the buyout. To, you know, something like zero. That is ideal.

The case centered around multiple factors, including...

  • Dykes interviewing with multiple programs, including Baylor this week.
  • Dykes not letting defensive coordinator Art Kaufman go in a timely manner (Kaufman was still on Cal staff until several weeks after the season ended). The report is that Cal Athletics felt Dykes was dragging his feet.
  • Dykes not getting around to finding a defensive coordinator until very late in the process. Williams apparently fired him when Dykes went to consult him for a list.

This could be part of the reason it took so long for the Bears to fire Dykes. As we know, Cal Athletics is all about the financials right now. If they can find a way to remove Dykes without having to pay a severance package, they’ll explore every opportunity.

The big surprise is when they couldn’t find the case to fire Dykes with cause, they went ahead and did it anyway.

So now that Dykes has been fired with cause, our calculations set the buyout for Sonny at $5.88 million. Let’s take a look at his contract.

Here is the base salary for Dykes:

  • 2017 $350,000
  • 2018 $350,000
  • 2019 $350,000

And the talent fee:

  • 2017: $2,375,000
  • 2018: $2,450,000
  • 2019: $2,525,000

Add all that up an it's $8,400,000. Dykes is owed 70% of his overall remaining contract, which is $5,880,000.

It’s a huge sum. We’d all better hope Cal is moving quickly to find their man.