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In news that will be welcomed by the Patriots, Arkansas and Bret Bielema have settled their lawsuit.
After Arkansas fired Bielema, he spent two years working for the Patriots. His salary in New England was $125,000, and Arkansas accused Bielema and his agent of scheming to take an artificially low salary so that Arkansas would have to pay him more. Bielema’s Arkansas contract said the school still owed him $11.935 million when he was fired, but it also said that Arkansas could deduct his salary from his future coaching jobs.
The Patriots wanted to keep emails involving Bielema private, and they won a temporary order toward that end, but the judge in the case said that the Patriots’ emails could come out at trial.
The Patriots argued that the emails “contain competitively sensitive and personal information — including compensation paid to another member of the team’s coaching staff,” and that the team “would suffer competitive and commercial harm if this information is made publicly available.”
Now there will be no trial and no reason for the Patriots’ information to come out, as Arkansas will pay Bielema another $3.5 million, and he will release Arkansas from a further $3.9 million he had been owed under the terms of his Arkansas contract.
Bielema is now head coach at Illinois.