Smith's Illinois contract could pay him up to $29 million


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois trustees have approved a contract that could pay new football coach Lovie Smith as much as $29 million over six years.

Smith will be paid $2 million a year his first two seasons under the deal approved Wednesday. His salary would rise to $3 million in his third year, $4 million in his fourth season and $5 million in years five and six.

Smith will be paid a $1 million bonus if he remains at Illinois for three seasons and again if he stays all six seasons.

The former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach could also be paid up to $1 million every season in performance bonuses.

Details of Smith's buyout if he is fired have not yet been made public.