Bill Self Receives Multi-Year Extension at Kansas: Is He Still Underpaid?

Posted by Chris Johnson on October 1st, 2012

Chris Johnson is an RTC columnist. He can be reached @ChrisDJohnsonn.

If there’s a college basketball coach who deserves a pay raise, Bill Self probably qualifies. At face value, that statement may come off as snobbish or patronizing – many believe college athletics coaches are grossly overpaid, that their lofty range of compensation would be better spent elsewhere – but if you’re willing to accept today’s coaching salary standards as a premise for discussion, Self is long past due on the list of coaches meriting an augmented payment scale. In nine seasons at Kansas, Self has won five Big 12 Tournament championships and at least a share of eight consecutive regular season titles, led his teams to six Sweet Sixteens, five Elite Eights, two Final Fours and one National Championship, all while winning three Big 12 coach of the year awards, two national coach of the year awards and grooming nine NBA first-round draft picks. Dating back to the 2006-07 season, Self’s 197 wins are the most for a six-year period in NCAA Division I history. Even by Kansas’ elevated standards, that’s a remarkable track record. The Jayhawks rewarded Self for his unprecedented tenure Friday by extending his contract through the 2021-22 season and increasing his annual salary by $480,000 per season. The new deal guarantees Self $3.856 million per year, with multiple incentives and retention bonuses built in provided he coaches out the length of the contract.

There are few coaches who have provided better bang-for-buck value than Self (Photo credit: AP Photo).

Guaranteeing any coach that level of length and/or value is risky, no matter his previous track record or positive momentum. But for Self, who has been college basketball’s overall most successful coach during his time in Lawrence, it’s hard to fret over the move. In fact, when you compare Self’s new deal with some of the sport’s most lucrative engagements, Kansas may have struck college hoops’ thriftiest salary bargain. According to USA Today’s College Basketball Coaching Salary Database for 2011-12, the newly-compensated Self now ranks fourth among college basketball coaches. Kentucky’s John Calipari ($4,497,578), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski ($4,699,570), and Louisville’s Rick Pitino ($3,900,000) cash in ahead of Kansas’ program figurehead. Measured against these coaching heavyweights, none of whom have won as many league championships or garnered more coaching accolades than Self over the last nine years, Self is not overpaid. That’s not to say wins and championships and awards are the only factors by which coaches are assessed – there’s recruiting, off-court endeavors, programmatic impact, and so on. The point is, all things considered, Self’s status as one of the game’s four best coaches (and now one of its four highest-paid) isn’t exactly arguable. Kansas normalized his deal with the sport’s elite coaches because that’s exactly what Self is: an elite coach. Much less a pronounced splurge on behalf of the Jayhawks’ athletic department, Self’s deal was arguably a cost-savings negotiation.

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Big Ten Summer Check In: Iowa Hawkeyes

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on July 16th, 2012

Iowa basketball made headlines this past week when its head coach Fran  McCaffery signed a huge contract extension to remain in Iowa City. After just two seasons, McCaffery has been chosen to lead th Iowa program for the next decade and can make up to $2M per year if the Hawkeyes return to the NCAA Tournament multiple times during that period. Hawkeye Nation definitely remembers the last time it tasted the NCAAs in 2006, when they were upset by Northwestern State in the first round. It has been a crazy ride for Iowa since then but they are beginning to see some light at the end of the rebuilding tunnel.

McCaffery Has Brought A New Culture to Iowa (AP/C. Neibergall)

Evaluating Last Year: Iowa’s 18-17 record in the 2011-12 season can be somewhat deceiving because the Hawkeyes were very competitive in most of their games, especially during conference play. Iowa fans were looking for improvement throughout the season and McCaffery’s crew certainly showed several encouraging signs. They finished the home stretch of the Big Ten season with a decent record of 7-4 and lost only one game at home to Northwestern who was making a serious push for a postseason at-large bid. Except for senior guard Matt Gatens, all of the key players were either freshmen or sophomores. Roy Devin Marble and Aaron White were two of the best young players in the conference as they averaged about 11 points per game, but more importantly showed great composure and maturity. Except for the Ohio State loss (76-47), the Hawkeyes remained competitive in every home conference game, which is a great sign pointing in the overall direction of a rebuilding program. After beating Dayton in the NIT, the Hawkeyes lost in a shootout to Oregon by a score of 108-97 in the second round.

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Comings & Goings: Fordham Pays Pecora; Howland and DePaul?

Posted by rtmsf on March 25th, 2010

The big news today in this area was of course the news that Tony Barbee is leaving UTEP to take the Auburn job.  We handled that separately here.

The other piece of coaching news is that Hofstra’s Tom Pecora has signed with Fordham for a non-puny sum of $705,000 per year.  Wow.  In the same New York Post article, Joe DeLessio says that Paul Hewitt is still the leading candidate to take the St. John’s job but a hefty buyout of $3.5M is holding up things.

In a pre-emptive strike by Northern Iowa to try to hang on to their hot commodity coach Ben Jacobson for as long as possible, the school offered him a big raise and a ten-year contract extension yesterday (which he accepted).  With each passing win in this Tournament, Jacobson’s stock will continue to rise.

Moving from the world of fact to the rumor mill, let’s start with one even more ridiculous than the Tubby to Auburn one last Friday: UCLA’s Ben Howland to DePaul?  Excuse us while we clean up the water we spit out all over the computer screen.  At first blush, this is borderline insanity.  Notwithstanding the fact that Howland is a SoCal guy who has taken that team to three Final Fours in his tenure there, it’s… freakin… DePaul.  We’d give this a 1% chance if we were talking about another traditional powerhouse, like, say, Indiana.  But DePaul?  How can anyone take this seriously?  What are they going to offer him — $10M per year?  And yet, even the Bruin faithful believe there’s more to this than just rumor.  For what it’s worth, Ben Howland stated today that he has “zero interest” in this job, which is about the amount we would expect him to have.

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Morning Five: 12.21.09 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on December 21st, 2009

  1. Iowa starting point guard Anthony Tucker was charged with public intoxication on the night of his team’s win over Drake, 71-67, and he will be suspended from the team immediately.  This is his second such charge, as he pleaded guilty to the same charge one year ago in Iowa City.
  2. According to Jim Calhoun, he and UConn are very close to signing a five-year extension to his current contract that will keep the acerbic coach in Storrs into his seventies.  Reportedly, Ken Kreyeske was his top negotiator in the discussions.
  3. Ohio State’s Evan Turner is on the record stating that his return will be on January 9 against Minnesota, a full four weeks ahead of initial projections.  Let’s hope he’s right, because the more Turner plays, the better for college basketball.  But let’s also make sure that he’s healthy, and we’re sure Thad Matta will have a say-so in that respect.
  4. This is a great story.  The NCAA granted Mike Gerrity’s waiver on Friday, making him eligible at USC immediately.  So what does he do?  Only drop 12/10 assts in the Trojans’ unreal (in margin) upset of top-ten Tennessee on Saturday evening, his first game in two years!
  5. Rutgers lost big man Gregory Echinique to eye surgery over the weekend, but he is expected to make a full recovery.  He was averaging 13/8 in seven games for Fred Hill’s Scarlet Knights.
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