Before arriving at Arizona State in advance of the 2012 season, Todd Graham earned a reputation as a coach that would quickly bolt for a better opportunity elsewhere. That is the nature of the business when jumping from Tulsa to Pittsburgh and, from there, staying only one season with the Panthers before leaving to join the Sun Devils. Now, though, Graham’s contract is in the news for a different reason in that it is not being extended.
The Arizona Republic brings word that Graham’s deal will not be lengthened by a year despite the wide assumption that it would be.
ASU Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson said a contract extension for Graham is not mandatory although his contract reads: “If grounds do not exist for termination for cause, ASU will ask the board to extend coach’s contract for one additional year following completion of the 2016 football season.”
Anderson said, “That’s not an automatic provision in the contract. It wasn’t rolled over because it didn’t need to be rolled over.”
In short, this reads as less than a vote of confidence for Graham after back-to-back seasons in which the Sun Devils lost seven games. It should be noted that he is still under contract through the 2020 season and, thus, not explicitly in danger from a contract perspective. With that said, another less than stellar season might push Graham out the door and the university would save additional compensation by not extending him prior to the 2017 campaign.
The upcoming season will be a big one for Todd Graham and it might be fair to suggest he is on the hot seat unless it goes quite well.