Note to Mike Hamilton, athletics director at the University of Tennessee:
Not all eight-win football seasons are created equal.
This comes to mind because of an odd clause that Hamilton inserted into the new contract for Vols Coach Phillip Fulmer. The seven-year extension, which averages $2.99 million annually, automatically will be extended for one year if UT wins eight games in the regular season.
In other words, the bar has been set at 8-4.
Granted, both Hamilton and Fulmer say they will not be satisfied with 8-4 seasons. Both say they want more, and I believe them.
But based on the fine print of the deal, an 8-4 record is deemed successful enough to extend the contract.
I’ve reviewed my fair share of coaching contracts over the years, and I’ve never before seen one that includes a magic victory number for an automatic rollover.