Archive for Sunday, August 10, 2008

Woodling: Self’s contract a rarity

August 10, 2008


Uh, oh. Another 10-year contract.

That was my knee-jerk reaction to the news Kansas University had awarded men's basketball coach Bill Self a 10-year pact.

Decade-long deals for coaches are rare. I know of only two and, in both cases, the recipient failed to make it to the max.

Self is, in fact, the second KU coach to secure a 10-year contract. The first was Jack Mitchell, a gregarious football mentor who endeared himself to the KU masses with that famous 23-7 victory over previously unbeaten Missouri at the end of the 1960 season.

A few months later, in March of 1961, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a recommendation that guaranteed Mitchell would remain the Jayhawks' football coach through 1971.

In 1966, however, in the wake of a 2-7-1 tailspin - the tie was a soporific 3-3 wash against a dreadful Kansas State team - KU terminated Mitchell's contract.

How much did it cost to buy Mitchell out? A whopping $56,000 paid in $14,000 installments over the next four years. In today's dollars, 14 grand is a drop in the bucket for Kansas Athletics Inc.

The other 10-year coaching contract I recall is the one the Chiefs gave Hank Stram a year after Kansas City won Super Bowl IV in 1970. That package called for Stram to receive the then-princely sum of $100,000 a year for the next decade.

How long did Stram last? Three years. He was fired after the 1974 season.

OK, I hear what you're saying. Mitchell and Stram were football coaches, and the shelf life of a football coach is usually shorter than a basketball coach, particularly at Kansas, a school where the average basketball coaching tenure is a relatively astronomical 13.8 years.

About three weeks ago, Kansas also awarded football coach Mark Mangino a new contract. Mangino's pact runs only through 2012, however, while Self is guaranteed employment through 2018.

Back in Mitchell's heyday, the KU faculty was generally outraged that a football coach would be treated so royally because, in addition to the long contract, Mitchell was earning a whopping $20,000 a year.

Not so much do professors grouse anymore, though. In contemporary times, faculty - most of them, anyway - understand how the marketplace has driven coaching salaries through the atrium.

Who would have believed even 10 years ago that the KU men's basketball coach would be banking $3 million a year and the Jayhawks' football coach would be pocketing $2.3 million?

When Mangino was hired prior to the 2002 season, his total annual package was estimated at about $600,000. When Self came here prior to the 2003-2004 season, his total income was about $1.3 million.

Thus Mangino's take-home pay has nearly quadrupled after six seasons on Mount Oread while Self's has more than doubled his bank account after five years.

In the big picture, the bottom may have fallen out of the housing market and the nation's economy may be in the pits, but coaching salaries continue to skyrocket, Kevlar vests to inflationary bullets.


Solutions101 9 years, 4 months ago

It wouldn't be so bad if the students did not have to pay $229,900 for Bill Self's salary out of their tuition and fees, which have increased ~$35/credit hour and up to ~$425/semester in required, all which should be optional as a minority of students would choose to pay for them, i.e. intercollegiate women's sports ($40/semester) the federal government requires the college to uphold, the bus system in deficit, child care, legal services, recreation, health fees for students who have health insurance while the health center collects the money from BOTH the student and insurance and, of course, the B.S. student-senate that votes on these unnecessary fees and diminishing any student voice. (There are many, many more unnamed and unknown sources to which students pay their money to while they cannot get decent buildings or out of the 1970 technology era.)KU students have instant communication with computers, everyone should have the opportunity to have their voice heard and vote. The people in the student senate are no more qualified than anyone else to make a decision for the student body. KU needs an EQUAL and justified Democracy.Where do you think the tuition money goes to? Most goes to the KU athletics dept. for coaches' salaries and student sports (not academic) scholarships. Multi-millions of dollars are donated to the athletics dept. every year. Why should the students have to suffer?Bill Self is receiving enough money from private sectors; there is no need to put that burden on poor, striving students already paying enough for other b.s. purposes.

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