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Nate Oats to earn $2.462 million a year at Alabama

Nate Oats receives a hefty pay raise as the men's basketball coach at Alabama.

The News obtained a memorandum of understanding that outlines Oats' contract terms at Alabama through an open-records request. The former University at Buffalo men's basketball coach will earn an annual salary of $2.462 million a year -- nearly three times the salary he was scheduled to earn over the course of a contract he signed earlier this month at UB.

According to the memorandum of understanding, signed March 27 by Oats and March 28 by Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne and Alabama president Dr. Stuart Bell, Oats will earn a base salary of $275,000, a talent fee of $2.175 million a year, and has an expense account of $12,000 a year.

Avery Johnson, whom Oats replaced, was making $3.06 million a year. A USA Today database that lists salaries of coaches from 77 Division I programs lists all 14 SEC coaches as making at least $2.04 million annually in 2019.

"I was a high school math teacher six years ago, so it’s not all about the money for us," Oats told reporters after his introductory press conference Thursday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. "Obviously the money doesn’t hurt. But I’d like to play for national championships.

“We can get to the Final Four here.”

Oats was introduced at Alabama four days after UB  was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, and less than two weeks after he signed a five-year contract extension at UB worth $837,000 annually. That would have made him the highest-paid men's basketball coach in the Mid-American Conference.

If Oats terminates his contract at Alabama prior to March 14, 2020, he owes the school $8 million. That buyout decreases by $2 million each year through March 14, 2023, and drops to a $1 million buyout if Oats terminates his contract prior to March 14, 2024.

If Alabama terminates Oats without cause prior to March 14, 2020, the school will owe him $9,187,500. That total decreases by $1,837,500 a year, through March 15, 2023.

Alabama also agreed to pay Oats' buyout of $750,000 to UB, per the memorandum of understanding, "upon presentation of sufficient documentation to support such buyout payment."

Oats also stands to earn a bonus of $50,000 each year if Alabama makes the NCAA Tournament in his first two years. That bonus drops to $25,000 in the the third, fourth and fifth years of his contract.

He will also earn $25,000 for each NCAA Tournament win in the first four rounds, then will earn $50,000 for wins in the Final Four and the national title games -- all cumulative bonuses.

Oats will also receive either use of two cars through a local dealership or a monthly automobile allowance, and Alabama will cover insurance and operating expenses associated with both cars. Oats will also receive a country club membership.

Alabama will cover moving expenses between Buffalo and Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama will also pay for Oats to make four round trips between Buffalo and Tuscaloosa until his family relocates to Alabama, and will pay for Oats' wife, Crystal, to make two round trips between Buffalo and Alabama for relocation purposes.

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