Saturday’s 41-17 win against Western Kentucky put FIU on various ESPN highlight packages, solidly into a bowl game and put an extra $47,000 into head coach Butch Davis’ and athletic director Pete Garcia’s wallets.
That’s the total bonus money owed Davis and Garcia if FIU plays in a bowl game.
The 7-4 Panthers became bowl eligible back on Nov. 4 by beating Texas-San Antonio for their sixth win. But saying you’re bowl eligible isn’t saying anything in 2017 Conference USA, home of 10 bowl-eligible teams. There’s only six primary bowl tie-ins and one secondary tie-in. A six-win FIU team, which would mean the Panthers closed the season with four consecutive losses, likely would find itself very eligible but very lonely when the bowls started asking for dance partners.
No longer a problem after the Panthers whipped Western for a seventh win and second place in CUSA’s East Division. FIU will be invited somewhere this bowl season, with most projections saying the Boca Bowl on Dec. 19 at FAU Stadium. An invitation triggers the “participates in a bowl game” bonus clauses in Davis and Garcia’s contracts.
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Davis, whose base salary is $900,000, gets a $35,000 bonus. Garcia gets $12,722, 3 percent of his base salary, which is $424,080, according to the state employee salary listing on Florida Has a Right to Know.