Nic Napier and Nadia Scharf, Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism

BLOOMINGTON — Former Indiana basketball coach Archie Miller’s time at the university was, overall, nothing special — finishing his career at IU with a 33-44 record in Big Ten play.

What was most memorable about Miller’s IU career, it turns out, was how much it cost to fire him.

The university spent $10.35 million, paid for completely by anonymous donors, to buy out and replace Miller, accounting for the largest buyout in Big Ten basketball since 2004.

It turns out underperforming coaches are big business in the Big Ten, as its 14 member schools have spent at least $148.7 million in severance payments on football and men’s basketball coaches and staff since fall 2004, according to an analysis of NCAA financial reports by the Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism and InvestigateTV. Miller’s buyout figure, along with other individual payments, reflects a coach’s contract at the time of termination.

What the Big Ten has spent to fire coaches pales in comparison to the $1.1 billion Division I Football Subdivision Schools spent on coaches’ severance. Of that amount, $624 million bought out football and men’s basketball coaches, according to InvestigateTV’s analysis of the Knight-Newhouse College Athletics Database at Syracuse University.

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