Ryan Day to receive hefty one-time payment for serving as interim Ohio State football coach

How much is navigating a top five team through preseason and to a 3-0 start worth? 

Nearly half a million dollars. 

According to a letter released by the university Wednesday, Ohio State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day will be paid $487,000 for serving as interim head coach in Urban Meyer’s absence. 

» URBAN MEYER COVERAGE: Coach says he’s working to be a better leaderMeyer’s career by the numbersMeyer says he wanted to help Smith family

The letter, dated Sept. 17 and signed by Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith, says Day is to receive a one-time lump sum payment of $487,000 in his Sept. 30 paycheck. 

Meyer, who will be allowed to coach his first game of the season on Saturday, thanked Day on Monday for keeping the team together since the beginning of August.

“I knew Coach Day was a difference-maker when we hired him,” Meyer said. "I followed his career. He was with me in Florida. His professionalism and what he's done has been phenomenal and the rest of our staff, with Coach (Greg) Schiano, Kevin Wilson, the other coaches, have been tremendous.” 

Day came to Ohio State in 2017 on a $400,000 annual salary.

In February, the school announced Day had received a new three-year contract worth $1 million annually after reportedly turning down other job opportunities, reportedly including an offer to be the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. 

Meyer was placed on leave August 1 after media reports accused him of mishandling allegations then-assistant coach Zach Smith abused his then-wife, Courtney. 

A subsequent investigation found Meyer did not try to cover up the allegation but did mismanage the employment of Zach Smith, who was found to have committed a variety of misdeeds over a period of years, some of which Meyer knew about and some he did not. 

Zach Smith was fired July 23. 

>>RELATED: How much money did Meyer’s suspension cost him? 

Gene Smith was also suspended without pay for two weeks. The investigation concluded that while neither he nor Meyer tried to cover up the existence of a police investigation involving Zach and Courtney Smith, they also did not follow all protocols related to reporting it to other school officials.  

Meyer was allowed to return to the team Sept. 3 but could not coach the team’s first three games. 

The fourth-ranked Buckeyes play host to Tulane on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. 

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