Tom Herman's name was buzzing after leading Houston to a 13-1 season in 2015 that finished with a Peach Bowl victory against Florida State, but he chose to stay with the Cougars for another year and, in turn, agreed to a new deal with the school. Now that he's at Texas, there's the matter of his $2.5 million buyout, due within 60 days of his resignation (Nov. 26).
Texas has the money to cover the buyout, but Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek offered another option if the Longhorns want to take the top off the price: come play us. Yurachek told reporters this week that he proposed home-and-home series in football and basketball. Texas athletic director Mike Perrin apparently responded with a hard pass, choosing to pay the Cougars rather than play them.
"We're not negotiating the value. The value is $2.5 [million]. We gave them an option for a home-and-home basketball and football series if we wanted to agree on a value for those two entities and reduce that off the $2.5 [million buyout]," Yurachek said. "Mike Perrin called me and said that's not an option right now so we will receive the $2.5 [million] from Texas."
Hunter Yurachek offers Texas chance 2reduce Tom Herman $2.5M buyout by Horns play UH home &home n football &hoops.UT AD Mike Perrin declined pic.twitter.com/3lWR6qvV8m— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) December 12, 2016
Houston's primary hope here wasn't giving new coach Major Applewhite a shot at his former school and former boss as much as it was getting a big-time opponent for its non-conference basketball schedule in 2018-19, the first year in the newly renovated Fertitta Center after $60 million worth of work.
And while Texas might be choosing cash over competition, it's not like there are a ton of options to slot Houston in on the future schedule. According to FBSchedules, the non-conference slate is full through 2019 and the Longhorns are scheduled to play at LSU (2020), at Arkansas (2021), host Ohio State (2022) and play at Michigan (2024) in the years with vacancies.