It sounds like Vanderbilt and Derek Mason intend to be together for the long haul. Adam Sparks at the Tennessean is reporting that the university and Mason are close to an agreement on a contract extension, with an official announcement to come later today.
In three years at Vanderbilt, Mason has gone 13-24 with a 5-19 record in the SEC, but the team’s win total has increased in each of his three years. The Commodores improved from 3-9, 0-8 in the SEC in his first year, to 4-8, 2-6 in year two and 6-7, 3-5 in 2016. The last year included Mason’s first SEC road win and his first win over Tennessee.
While some will argue that Vanderbilt should wait until after next season to do a contract extension, that risks Mason having all the leverage in negotiations if the team improves again in 2017, which is very possible. And that’s how you get the kinds of stupid buyout provisions that are why Butch Jones is still employed three hours to the east. Personally, I think the administration is and has been far more confident in Mason than the fans are, which is both good and bad.