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Deal Will Pay Florida’s Meyer $4M a Year

Florida football coach Urban Meyer signed a deal Monday that will make him the first football coach in the Southeastern Conference to reach $4 million in annual pay.

Meyer, who led the Gators to national titles last season and in 2006 and is 44-9 in his four years at Florida, will get $4 million a season for each of the next six years. He had four years left on his previous contract at a little less than $3.5 million a year.

The university recently announced $42 million in budget cuts and the layoffs of nine faculty members and 49 staff members, according to the Associated Press. But the state-funded school doesn't pay Meyer's salary. That money comes from the University Athletic Association, a separate arm that funds the athletic department. Since 2005, the UAA has given $17.3 million to the school.

"Coach Meyer has certainly proven to be one of the top college football coaches in the country and should be compensated as such," Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley said.

Alabama's Nick Saban and LSU's Les Miles, Meyer's SEC colleagues, have deals for just less than $4 million this year. Saban's pay is scheduled to rise to $4.1 million in 2010.

Other coaches across the country, including Southern California's Pete Carroll, already have topped $4 million. According to figures provided by USC to the IRS, Carroll received a little less than $4.4 million in pay and benefits for the 2007-08 school year, the most recent period for which information is available.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops made more than $6 million last year, including incentives and a one-time bonus of $3 million for staying 10 years. The school's board of regents in June approved a contract extension that will pay Stoops at least $3.675 million this year.

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