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On ABC's "American Agenda," Armen Keteyian profiled UMass' efforts to build a big-time basketball program. Keteyian, chronicling the financial dividends Coach John Calipari receives while the rest of the school needs financial attention, asks, "Has the mission of the university been lost on the road to the Final Four?" Keteyian calls today's NCAA coaches "leading men in the $215 million tournament extravaganza known as March Madness." Keteyian points out that coaches of big-time programs such as Rick Pitino, Lute Olsen and Bob Knight all make from $500,000 to more than $1M a year. THE NUMBERS: Calipari's contract at UMass is reportedly $600,000 a year: a base salary of $132,000, a $50,000 pension, $280,000 from a his basketball camp, $80,000 from ticket sales and $40,000+ from the NCAA tournament. Calipari also has deals that make him "hundreds of thousands of dollars more" from his local TV show, a clothing store and endorsement contracts. OFFICIAL STANCE: UMass Chancellor David Scott: "We need to have Calipari here, in order to keep him here we need to have a competitive contract." Keteyian reported that UMass applications and donations are up since the revival of the basketball program. The team had an $800,000 profit last season. Scott, who "regards the basketball team as a national ad for the UMass mission": "It's like the front porch of a big house. It attracts people, gets them interested." PRIORITIES: Keteyian points out that a recent report says UMass facilities are in need of $310,000 of repairs. Scott says UMass plans to repair buildings after the basketball program "becomes successful": "It's a balance, you can't pick out one component and say, 'Well, if this money weren't going to Calipari, it could be going to fix bathrooms'" ("World News Tonight," ABC, 3/20).
Turner Sports has acquired the rights to produce and air the Carquest Bowl from Raycom Inc. The 3-year deal for the game, which is played at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, begins with the upcoming '95 season and will be aired by TBS. Raycom will still manage the event. Raycom CEO Rick Ray: "We are pleased that Turner Sports will be our new partner for the Carquest Bowl. Turner's wide-ranging capabilities will continue to uphold the outstanding reputation of the Carquest Bowl" (Turner). According to this morning's MIAMI HERALD, while the TV deal appears "firmly in place, there are still concerns that Carquest Auto Parts" may not renew their title sponsorship. Carquest board members are scheduled to meet in mid-April to decide the company's role (Steve Wyche, MIAMI HERALD, 3/21). TRULY A CONFERENCE CALL: The Bowl Alliance has completed its contract with the FedEx Orange, Dial Fiesta and USF&G Sugar Bowls, and will review the 50-page document with the conference commissioners by phone tomorrow. If no problems arise, the contract will be delivered to the three bowls next week. The Orange Bowl needs the contract with the Bowl Alliance to be finalized in order to ink two other deals: One with Joe Robbie Stadium and the other with FedEx to continue as title sponsor (MIAMI HERALD, 3/21).