For many college coaches, it pays to get fired. Over a 17-year period beginning in 2005, public universities have shelled out more than $1.1 billion in buying out the contracts of college coaches, according to an InvestigateTV analysis of NCAA financial data collected by Syracuse University. Most of that money was spent on football coaches who play at the highest level of Division I athletics. As football coaches' annual compensation now stretches into seven digits, massive severance payments also grow bigger and bigger.