If Iowa offense ups its game, OC Brian Ferentz recoups pay

ferentz contract
Joseph Cress/USA TODAY NETWORK
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Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is taking a pay cut as part of a new contract that will reward him if the Hawkeyes average 25 points and win at least seven games next season – and make it easier to fire him if they don’t.

The athletic department released an amended contract for Ferentz, Iowa’s offensive coordinator since 2017. The son of head coach Kirk Ferentz has been a frequent target of criticism for nepotism and because of the Hawkeyes’ lack of production the past two years.

The amended contract calls for Brian Ferentz to receive a salary of $850,000 this year, a $50,000 pay cut, and his two-year rolling contract has been put on hold.

But if Iowa wins seven games and increases its scoring average to 25 points, he will be paid a lump sum of $112,500, have his salary raised to $925,000 and go back to having a two-year rolling contract.

“If Coach does not meet the Designated Performance Objectives, the agreement will terminate on June 30, 2024,” the contract reads.

Iowa was 8-5 this past season and has won at least seven games all but two years since 2008.

The Hawkeyes scored 25 points only three times in 2022, and their average of 17.7 per game ranked 123rd out of 131 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. They were second to last in total offense in the FBS with 251.6 yards per game.

Athletic department spokesman Steve Roe said the 25-points-per-game goal is for the entire team, not just the offense.

The Hawks’ defense accounted for 40 points on four interception returns, two fumble returns and two safeties. Iowa would have reached 25 points in only two games if it weren’t for the defense accounting for two TDs in a 27-10 win over Rutgers.

Iowa would have averaged 14.6 points per game if it hadn’t been for defensive scores.

The Hawkeyes last averaged at least 25 points per game in 2020, when they went for 31.8 in a pandemic-shortened, eight-game season. Iowa averaged 25.8 points in 2019.

South Carolina gives AD Tanner raise, two-year extension

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.

Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.

The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.

Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.

Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.

Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.

Michigan RB Blake Corum says he’ll be back by fall camp

Junfu Han/USA TODAY NETWORK
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina

Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.

“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.

“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”

Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.