When Todd Monken's departure to the coaching staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers occurred on January 24th, Southern Miss was left teetering on the brink of a lost recruiting year with the move coming just 10 days before National Signing Day.
The search for a replacement was fast and furious, as it had to be. After going through the first wave of candidates, the Golden Eagles announced on Sunday that Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson was taking over the reigns in Hattiesburg. The move was praised due to Hopson's success at Alcorn State and it seems that Southern Miss made the right choice.
On Monday, the term sheet was released and upon inspection, Hopson should probably fire his agent.
Full term sheet for Jay Hopson pic.twitter.com/FAhDz1Kjo5— Jason Munz (@munzly) February 1, 2016
The big story here is on the second page. For the 4-year/500k per year deal, if Hopson terminates the agreement within the first 36 months (pre-dated to December 31st, 2018), he will owe Southern Miss $2,000,000, the total base value of the contract,
So if Hopson were to bolt on, let's say, December 22nd, 2018, despite the remaining value of his contract being around $500,000, he would still owe Southern Miss the full two million. That sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Especially since if Hopson is fired before then without cause, he would only get the remainder of his contract is equal monthly payments.
It's all a moot point if Hopson stays through December 31st, 2018 and if he's successful, the two sides will probably have an extension before then.
For the Golden Eagles, the contract is a big success. Southern Miss is just recovering from the doldrums of 2012 that saw an 0-12 record and selling a home game with Nebraska. Stability is something the folks in Hattiesburg need, so from their point of view, it makes sense.
But for Hopson, the move came just days before the Class of 2016 would be all-but finalized. He held the high cards in this process and folded. Hopson's $500,000 base salary is a good bit less than Monken's $700,000. Also, Monken's perks totaled another $100,000 while Hopson can't get near that amount with an equal amount of success.
While it won't be much of a factor now, this contract could be a keg of gun powder waiting to blow up down the line. Only time will tell.