(Update below: I had a massive error in the math. A comma didn't get moved, or something. Mr. Whaley, my fifth-grade teacher, would be so ashamed.)
You go to the Final Four, the rules change. The contract changes. You get paid. Often times, you can change jobs.
In Shaka Smart's case, he just wanted a little more money for a job very well done and very much unexpected. I talked with Smart in May, and he told me leaving VCU wasn't something that was ever on his immediate radar, even while VCU's unprecedented run to the Final Four was fermenting and he was becoming the coach du jour in college hoops.
Smart's not a grass-is-greener type of guy. Does it mean he'll never leave? Absolutely not. (I think he's gone by 2015.) But for now, building a legacy and reputation for VCU is chief among his directives while leading the Rams.
And so the school -- which got help from the student body -- drafted up a new contract. Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times got the details of Smart's new deal, which he signed Monday afternoon. There are a number of incentives. He will be earning $1.2 million per year going forward, and the 30 bonuses built into the contract include rewards for increasing attendance (a guarantee next season), getting his players to walk across the commencement-ceremony podium, beating ACC teams, beating Richmond (I love this; Smart gets two grand if he knocks off the Spiders), winning coach-of-the-year awards, and more.
He's also permitted 10 grand per year in "clothing allowance." It's my life's mission to keep this clause's existence out of sight and out of mind for my future wife. Expect Smart to dapper up next season.
Here are some of the big incentives, per the Washington Times:
In total, at the most optimal ending, Smart stands to earn $524,750 (with one win over an ACC team and Richmond) if he unlocks every single possible incentive in his contract. That's shrewd negotiating. But there is no trump card like a Final Four still visible and large in the rearview mirror.
Winning the CAA regular-season title: $3,500.
National Invitation Tournament
NIT appearance: $2,000.
First-round win: $1,000.
Second win: $3,000.
Third win: $5,000.
Fourth win: $8,000.
NCAA appearance: 1.5 months base salary (base is $450,000).
First-round win: One month base.
Second win: One month base.
Third win: One month base.
Fourth win: 1.5 months base.
Fifth win: 1.5 months base.
Sixth win: Two months base.
Seventh win: Two months base.
Photo: US PRESSWIRE