Saturday, June 5, 2010
Basketball Struggles Save IU $900,000 -- Sort Of
So let’s say we flash forward into a future where Indiana regains its basketball mojo, victories come at a machine-gun pace and officials make room to hang another championship banner in Assembly Hall.
What do you think that would be worth?
That depends, of course, on who you’re talking about.
For fans it would once again be a time of excitement, with big-time wins, national acclaim and March Madness euphoria.
For coach Tom Crean it would mean peace of mind, vindication for all the struggles of a first couple of years no one expected to be so challenging.
However, because we live in a materialistic world where green is just as much about money as it is the environment, we offer you contract perspective.
Crean makes a little over $2 million a year even if the Hoosiers don’t win a game. If they win a lot, he makes more. How much more? Let’s take a look.
His contract guarantees him $50,000 for winning the Big Ten regular season championship, $25,000 for an NCAA tourney berth, $125,000 for reaching the Final Four and $250,000 for winning the national championship.
That means Crean has saved IU $900,000 by failing to achieve those goals in his first two seasons.
Does that make athletic director Fred Glass happy?
Are you nuts?
Glass would have loved to have shelled out the extra cash because it would mean big-time success and a big-time financial boost via surges in attendance, concessions, merchandise and alumni giving.
Such bonuses are not unusual, by the way.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo gets $50,000 for winning the Big Ten regular season championship, $25,000 for making the NCAA tourney, $25,000 for making the Sweet 16, $100,000 for making the Final Four and $150,000 for winning the national title. That means this season Izzo made an extra $200,000.
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun makes about $29,000 for making the NCAA tourney, $58,000 for making the Final Four and $87,000 for winning the national championship.
And then there’s Kentucky coach John Calipari, who gets $100,000 for getting to the Sweet 16 and $375,000 for winning the national championship.
Yes, that seems unfair in these economically challenged times, but it isn’t about being fair. It’s about being competitive and that’s what big-time coaches make these days.
Still, consider this -– John Wooden never made more than $35,000 a year as the coach at UCLA.
Now THAT seems unfair.