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Pretty sweet deal for Calipari at Kentucky

Posted by ZA on April 3, 2009

You surely heard that John Calipari is now the highest paid coach in college basketball.  Calpari’s new deal to coach the University of Kentucky Wildcats is an 8-year deal that will pay him approximately $31.65 million dollars.  It eclipses Billy Donovan’s $2.5 million per year deal at the University of Florida, which was the previous record in men’s college hoops.  Coach Calipari will have a $400k per year base salary and then make his additional millions from the Wildcats broadcasting and endorsement deals.  But Calipari’s deal with Kentucky has some other nice incentives.

John Calipari’s contract incentives & perks:
* $50k bonus – academic achievements by team
* $50k bonus – winning SEC Tournament
* $175k bonus – making the Final Four
* $375k bonus – winning the National Championship
* 2 automobiles
* Paid expense account
* 20 lower-level tickets to all UK home games
* Membership at country club
* $3 million per year buyout if he is fired

The total package from Kentucky is well past the $4 million per year average that he is being paid.  And we have not even yet mentioned the buyout that the Wildcats will be paying on the previous coach’s contract.  So Calipari better win and he better win quick, because the revenue he produces from a successful program will be necessary to pay him.

Did Kentucky get a good deal in hiring Calipari? He has been successful everywhere he has coached, so I cannot argue with his track record on the court.  What does trouble me about Calipari coming to Kentucky is his “shady” past that includes questionable recruiting methods, extremely low graduation rate for his players and a history of off-court problems for Calipari’s athletes.  Will Kentucky Wildcat fans be able to overlook some of these transgressions that seem to follow Calipari from his last two schools?  Probably so, as long as he is winning.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

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