Blog Entry

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

Posted on: June 29, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 1:50 pm
 
By Matt Norlander

(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:

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.
Championship: $12,000.

NCAA Tournament
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.

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.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Shaka Smart, VCU
 
Comments

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 4, 2011 5:54 pm
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

Okay, let's all get snarky.  My whole point was that based on Norlander's article there's no way to get the information you're citing.  Perhaps you read the original article in the Washington Times and have a little more insight or perhaps there's info you picked up from a VCU website, hey, you're a stud and a special person, aren't you?  Just try, if you can, to forget about that and based on the CBS article, and nothing else, see if you can show us how you came up with the numbers you quote.
I just did. All of that came using one source and one source only: Norlander's article. I didn't go to VCU's website. I didn't read the article in the Washington Times. Your original beef is completely wrong and you can't handle being called out on it. It's not my fault nor Norlander's fault that you don't understand college basketball and how its contracts work.

You made a dumb comment and then continued to insist you were right when it was proven you weren't. When you do that, you aren't going to like the response most of the time.

As for all the other stuff you want to get into, well, if you think that you've reinvented the wheel when it comes to breaking down a coach's contract you get a gold star and a chocolate milk, enjoy.
No, all I did was use basic information that most people are well-aware of that somehow got by you.



Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

Okay, let's all get snarky.  My whole point was that based on Norlander's article there's no way to get the information you're citing.  Perhaps you read the original article in the Washington Times and have a little more insight or perhaps there's info you picked up from a VCU website, hey, you're a stud and a special person, aren't you?  Just try, if you can, to forget about that and based on the CBS article, and nothing else, see if you can show us how you came up with the numbers you quote.  My original beef was that the CBS article was sloppy to the point of math that at best made no sense and and at worst blatantly contradicts itself.  That's it.  As for all the other stuff you want to get into, well, if you think that you've reinvented the wheel when it comes to breaking down a coach's contract you get a gold star and a chocolate milk, enjoy. 



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2011 6:30 pm
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

Man, do you two even follow college basketball? And MTR, that you work on Wall Street and don't understand how contracts work frightens the hell out of me. I'll try again to break this down for you.


$450,000 is his base salary. He gets this money for doing nothing but coaching the Virginia Commonwealth basketball team. This money is for X's and O's, leading the team during games and practices and for recruiting.

On top of that, as part of his guaranteed money, he receives another $750,000 for doing things that are part of his job. This is for things like speaking in the community, meeting with VCU donors, hosting a radio show, working a summer camp for young players, working with the media, etc. Basically, this money is for things that go with coaching the team, but do not involve actually coaching the team. This results in the $1.2 million total figure. This is his total salary, which is different from his base salary of $450,000.


On top of that, he is able to receive performance bonuses for things like beating Richmond, winning the CAA and playing into the NCAA Tournament. For meeting some of these goals, he receives a month or more of his base salary, not his total salary. $524,750 would be added on to his $1.2 million of guaranteed money, for a maximum of around $1.72 million.


Condescending? Yeah, probably, but if you're on a sports site, Norlander shouldn't have to explain the most basic things to you. That's the kind of question I'd expect from a 20-year old girl who didn't know what the 3-point arc was, not a guy who follows sports enough to be interested in this topic. You have to assume your readers know a little bit about the subject. Clearly, his assumption was incorrect. If you follow college basketball, it is actually incredibly easy to figure out what Shaka Smart will make based on this article.



Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2011 4:51 pm
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

Yea, I get it, if you want to condescend and call it "common knowledge" for sports fans, be my guest.  My point was that the way the article is written makes it sound like the base is 1,200,000 and the incentives, most of which occur in the course of every day activity, are on top of that.  Or maybe I've failed to read between the lines as apparently I should be able to.  Hello, I work on Wall Street, I know plenty of guys who have a salary of $200,000 and take home $4,000,000 after bonuses, call it whatever you  like, the only thing that matters is the bottom line.  If the point of this article was to reveal juicy facts about the value of Shaka's salary it simply doesn't.  Norlander writes that the "most optimal ending" for Shaka is $524,750, add that to $450,000, if that is indeed his salary, and it's not even a million, let alone 1.2.  His salary will be a lot of money any way you slice it but good luck trying to figure it out based on this article.



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

I wholeheartedly disagree with your opinion as to the awareness to how a basketball coaches base salary differs from sure fire bonuses to potential bonuses.  Even sure fire bonuses are subject to never occurring.  Most of the bonuses I read about in the Washington Times were not sure fire bonuses.  Graduation rates, season ticket numbers, wins over ACC teams, national television coverage, etc.  Your suggestion that base and actual salaries being different is common knowledge is based on what?  Your own perception?  Very nice.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2011 11:29 am
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

Not in sports. It's actually common knowledge that a coach's base salary and actual salary are two very different things. The bonuses in his contract that boost him to $1.2 million are not things he will fail to reach unless he locks himself in the office and only comes out for practices and games. He's going to run a basketball camp in the summer. He's going to meet with the media. He's going to host a radio show. He's going to speak at charity events. He's going to be visible in the community. He's going to appear in ads for VCU. Those are all bonuses in his contract that there is no question he will meet.

Norlander's mistake was not writing for those who don't pay that close attention to these things. I guess he assumed that his readers would be familiar with something that is widely known, but there are always a few people who don't know things you think are well-known.



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2011 8:16 am
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

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.
Then perhaps Norlander should not have phrased this as he did.  (Does this mean his writing fails as well?)  If someone "will be earning" a figure, it is implied that no bonuses are attached because he may fail to reach many of the bonus triggers in his new contract.  If his base is indeed $450,000, which is more in line with a smaller school like VCU, his story should have clearly articulated that and not copied the article originally published in the Washington Post.  It's just bad writing if multiple persons come up with the wrong conclusion based upon the written story.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 7:37 pm
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

I should add that the $400,000 figure is cumulative, not just his two months base salary that is outlined.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 7:35 pm
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

If he's making 1.2 million a year that's 100K a month, not 450,000.
Wrong. Smart's 1.2 million figure is not his base salary. That's his base salary plus bonuses that are not linked to performance, such as running a basketball camp, being given a free car from the school, making appearances with the print and television media, etc. His base salary is $450,000 a year of his $1.2 million total salary. Base salary is just what he is given to coach his team and do nothing else in the offseason or in the community.

So actually, Norlander's math is much closer to accurate than yours. For winning the NCAA tournament alone, Smart actually gets an additional $400,000.



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2011 7:30 pm
 

Let's look at the details of Shaka's new contract

Actually, after I did the math, it appears that Shaka Smart could double his base salary if he obtained all of the bonuses he could muster in a season.  That number, of course, cannot be accurately calculated due to unknown attendances at games, graduation rates, number of games against ACC opponents, television coverages, etc....but it should be a much better estimate than Mr. Norlander's.


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