Eastern Kentucky University, where I work, is just about 40 minutes from the University of Kentucky, so the firing of UK men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie is big news around here. Interestingly, Gillispie was never officially under contract with the school, but rather both parties were working off of a "Memorandum of Understanding".
I have no idea if this is a common occurrence or not, but here is something that caught my interest:
SEC Regular Season Championship $50,000
SEC Tournament Championship $50,000
NCAA Tournament Appearance $50,000
NCAA Sweet 16 Appearance $75,000
NCAA Final Four Appearance $150,000
National Championship $375,000
Academic Progress Rate of 950+ $50,000
Graduation Rate of 75%+ $50,000
Now, I'm not one of those academics who hates sports, thinks they are a waste of time, or even begrudges coaches the money they make (well, that last one isn't always true). But in my mind it says a lot about the priorities of a program when the incentives are divided as they are above. Winning is important, and it is part of a coach's job to help his or her team achieve excellence. However, why not put a little more money into the academic incentives column?