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ABC EXAMINES THE BIG TIME ECONOMICS OF BUILDING A WINNER
Published March 21, 1995
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).