The Jamie Dixon rumor mill is churning so fast it's about to burst into flames, so let's take a look at what's gone down in the past 24 hours or so.
Gary Parrish got things started on Sunday afternoon, when he reported that sources close to the situation said Dixon was interested in the TCU head coaching position, and that TCU has "zeroed in" on his as Trent Johnson's replacement.
Rumors started flying around really quickly, about how much TCU was going to pay Dixon, to how much Dixon's buyout was, to there being an announcement in the next day or two. This rumor though, took the cake:
Guy just called into @KDPomp on NSC. Said he's an Uber Driver & said he picked up Nelson Ododo who said Dixon told team he's leaving. #TCU— Chad Quinn (@chadqpa) March 21, 2016
That really captures how quickly this think reached level: insanity.
Of course, guys like Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports are always here to bring us back to reality.
As Sunday progressed, Carlos Mendez of the Fort Worth Star Telegram started reporting that TCU and Dixon were close to a deal, and that TCU was going to be competitive with what Dixon is currently making at Pitt. There are two financial numbers in Mendez's report.
First, Mendez notes that Dixon's buyout is rumored to be around $10 million. That's a massive number, and would clearly be the biggest hurdle to getting a deal done. We had reported late last week that his buyout was "north of $5 million," and $10 million is definitely that. We'll get back to buyout stuff in a second, but let's talk salary for a second.
Mendez notes in his piece that, "The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Dixon’s salary is $3.2 million." It's true that Dixon earned that much in 2014, but calling it all "salary" is where things get confusing. Here's a great breakdown of Dixon's salary, courtesy of Pitt's SB Nation site Cardiac Hill.
Some important things to note here.
- Dixon's base salary is $1.4 million
- Dixon did make $3.2 million in 2014, but that was largely due to bonuses and incentives.
- Dixon has, on average, made around $2.7 to $3 million a year, with his base pay plus incentives.
- Sam Werner, Pitt's football reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, notes that Dixon's total compensation in 2013 was $2.1 million. In 2012 it was $2.4 million. In 2011 it was $1.8 million.
These numbers are important to clarify, because of the latest rumor rolling around.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon is strongly considering taking the TCU job, source confirms to @SNYtv 'They're offering to double his salary.'— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 21, 2016
As the piece from Cardiac Hill notes, there's a massive difference in doubling Dixon's base pay and doubling Dixon's base pay + incentives. So, some clarity will be needed there.
I, for one, am not completely sold on the doubling rumor to begin with, but if it turns out TCU is truly willing to double Dixon's base to around $2.8, that would make him one of the top 10 highest paid coaches in the country.
We also get some clarity on Dixon's buyout in the piece from Cardiac Hill. they quote Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports reporter Paul Zeise as saying Dixon's buyout is somewhere between $1.25 and $1.5 million for every remaining year on his contract. That would put the buyout at somewhere between $8.75 million and $10.5 million.
So, while questions about buyout and salary remain, hopefully that provides some clarity for you.
As of about 10am on Monday morning, Jon Rothstein and Carlos Mendez were both putting out bits of information that seem to validate the strong interest these rumors suggest. However, it's too soon to say things are a done deal just yet.
TCU insider on Jamie Dixon: 'Most of our money people associate him and his teams as the best era of TCU basketball.'— Carlos A. Mendez (@calexmendez) March 21, 2016
"Jamie has told confidants that he feels it is time to move on from Pittsburgh" -@JonRothstein on @CBSSportsRadio's @TikiAndTierney— Ben Livingston (@937TeenWolf) March 21, 2016
We'll keep updating you as the situation progresses, but that's where things stand right now.