Giants assistant coach Bret Bielema filed a $7 million federal lawsuit Friday alleging breach of contract by the organization responsible for paying the money owed on his contract after he was fired by the University of Arkansas.
Bielema was fired in 2017 and due a $12 million buyout to be paid by The Razorback Foundation. As is typical with college coaching contracts, the agreement stipulated Bielema must make reasonable efforts to regain employment and his new salary will be deducted from the amount owed to him.
Bielema was hired by the New England Patriots as a defensive consultant in 2018 and promoted to defensive line coach in 2019. He received a raise, a source told The Post, to follow new Giants head coach Joe Judge from the Patriots to be outside linebackers coach and senior defensive assistant in 2020.
The Razorback Foundation stopped monthly payments after December 2018 – less than $5 million was received – when it was reported Bielema’s salary was far below market value for an NFL assistant. That was interpreted as taking advantage of his former employer, and now Bielema is suing for the balance of the buyout.
Marshall Ney, an attorney representing the Foundation, expressed displeasure that he received a copy of the lawsuit after it was made public.
“What I can share at this point before digesting the entire document is that the Foundation previously demanded that Bret Bielema return the $4,555,833.29 that had been paid to him prior to the Foundation’s discovery of his multiple material breaches of the agreement,” Ney told The Post. “It appears that Bielema filed suit in order to avoid being sued.”
Bielema’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bielema was a candidate for college head coaching vacancies at Michigan State and Colorado earlier this offseason. Both jobs would’ve come with a much higher salary than he is receiving.