national search is underway for Payne’s replacement, but the financial effects of Payne’s dismissal will linger into the future.

The 57-year-old Payne signed an incentive-filled six-year contract to coach the Cardinals in March of 2022 with a salary of $3.35 million per year.

The buyout called for Payne to receive $8 million if Louisville terminated his contract without cause — meaning NCAA violations or some other act beyond wins and losses — in Year 2. According to his contract, Payne’s buyout was set to drop to $6 million at the start of April, but U of L athletics director Josh Heird didn’t wait that long to dismiss Payne.

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