LSU overpaid football coach Brian Kelly $1 million in 2022 among other errors, audit finds

Koki Riley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

BATON ROUGE - An audit conducted by the Louisiana Legislator Auditor's office found that LSU athletics overpaid football coach Brian Kelly by more than $1 million in 2022, according to documents obtained by The Advertiser.

The report, which was issued on Monday, revealed that the university made double supplemental payments to Kelly in May and June resulting in $1,001,368. The school mistakenly sent payments to Kelly and Kelly's LLC, resulting in double payments. The university detected the error in November.

As a remedy, LSU and Kelly have agreed on an adjusted payment schedule that will recoup the university's losses "by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023," according to the document.

Additionally, the audit found that LSU had misclassified $6.7 million in coaching salaries, benefits and bonuses, resulting in the "overstatement in coaching salaries and an understatement in severance payments." The school also incorrectly left out nearly $140 million in debt from its NCAA Financial Report because it had not included the Tiger Athletic Foundation's debt in the report, according to the audit.

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Kelly signed a 10-year deal worth $95 million before incentives in Nov. 2021. He led the Tigers to a 10-4 record in his first season at the helm.

Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.