ABC EXAMINES THE BIG TIME ECONOMICS OF BUILDING A WINNER
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).