University of Illinois makes changes to Lovie Smith's contract

 
 
Updated 9/8/2016 1:21 PM
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  • Illinois head coach Lovie Smith shouts during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Murray State Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

    Illinois head coach Lovie Smith shouts during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Murray State Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

URBANA -- University of Illinois trustees have approved a contract with football coach Lovie Smith that will pay him at least $21 million over six years.

They approved initial terms for Smith after he was hired in March that were backloaded to pay him $10 million in salary over his final two years. The final contract now moves $2 million of that money to earlier years in his contract.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler declined to say what the buyout terms are if he Smith is fired because he and others still need to sign the contract.

In addition to his salary, Smith is eligible for up to $8 million in bonuses.

Smith is a longtime NFL coach who was hired to replace Bill Cubit.

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