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Oats receives extension with highest buyout in the country

Fans of Alabama basketball who were worried that head coach Nate Oats may look at other jobs at premiere programs can rest easy, at least for now.

Oats isn’t going anywhere.

The Tide’s head coach, who has led the program to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, has signed an extension that will keep him in Tuscaloosa for the foreseeable future.

Oats’ new contract not only extends him to 2030, but it makes him among the five highest-paid coaches in college basketball.

With a $5 million salary in the first year of the contract that increases to $7.55 million by the final year, Athletic Director Greg Byrne showed he is extremely serious about keeping Oats around long term.

Kansas’ Bill Self ($9.6 million), Kentucky’s John Calipari ($8.5 million), Michigan State’s Tom Izzo ($6.2 million), Auburn’s Bruce Pearl ($5.7 million) and Tennessee’s Rick Barnes ($5.7 million) are the five highest-paid coaches in the nation.

The first year of the contract would put Oats just below that, but in two years would place him inside the top three.

Perhaps the most eye-popping number in the new deal, however, is not related to compensation at all.

It’s the $18 million buyout that a school who wants to hire Oats would have to pay in order to do so.

It is the largest buyout in the country, an increase from Oats’ previous $10 million buyout.

The massive number lasts until the end of the 2026 season, then drops to $10 million for the 2027 season and $4 million in the 2028 season.

But if Oats’ Crimson Tide continue the same level of success, it is extremely likely that Oats would be extended again before that time rolls around.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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