According to Lewis Kamb of The Seattle Times, the buyout for Steve Sarkisian is $1.5 million and is due in 30 days. Justin Wilcox, Washington’s former defensive coordinator who is going to USC with Sarkisian, owes $1 million. Defensive Line Coach Tosh Lopoi owes $410,000. The total for all three comes to $2.91 million and the question is who will be paying them.
Presumably, USC would be, but it is possible that Sarkisian will have to pay out of pocket for both himself and the assistants as part of how he is getting them to come with him to Los Angeles as part of his new staff. The business of buyouts are supposed to work as a means to reduce the likelihood of a coach leaving, but it is difficult to see if any of this works or really matters.
Another coach can hire them away and pay what amounts to be a transfer fee and while $2.91 million is better than getting nothing, it is unclear what it really gets them in this scenario. Nevertheless, USC got their man and he is bringing his men with him.