This post should be prefaced with the fact that I am an alumnus of the Univeristy of Iowa, but I will attempt to remain as objective as possible in my reporting.
Iowa State University recently finialized its contract with new Head Football coach Paul Rhoads. The contract, linked here by the Des Moines Register, has an interesting term that is not often found in coaching contracts. Under Article V of the contract, instances are provided that equate to "just cause" for termination, in other words, reasons the University can give to fire him. Paragraph 2(a) of this Article specifically lists some situations that cannot be considered just cause, including:
ii) Win-loss record or public unhappiness with win-loss record; or
iii) Other general displeasure at the direction or success of the football program.
Generally, win-loss records and displeasure with the direction of an athletic program are the main reasons coaches are fired by their university employers. It would be interesting to know at whose behest these clauses were added, and the policy behind them. It should be noted that the contract also lists a number of "just cause" reasons to fire Rhoads, and the University would likely be able to find separate reasoning to release him besides the win-loss record of the team.
At any rate, his job is safe for a while, even after September 12, 2009. Go Hawks.