Saturday Morning Hangover: The Anthony Grant Predicament

It just doesn't add up. - Interwebz

As you probably have heard by now Alabama Athletics Director Bill Battle announced that Grant will return as men's basketball coach next season. But it just doesn't add up.

Before I begin, I need to disclose that I have not actually read Anthony Grant's contract nor am I one of them there fancy contract-reading-lawyer-types. That poorly said, I will attempt to layout the terms culled from different sources around the interwebz.

THE FIRST CONTRACT

According to an al.com article from 2009, Grant signed a seven-year deal that was required to be renegotiated after three years. The basic terms:

  • Base salary: $245,000
  • Talent fee: $1,555,000
  • Signing bonus: $50,000
  • Two cars, $12,000 in expenses, country club privileges, tickets, and benefits.

Let's conservatively say each car is around $30,000 for $60,000 total. I believe Indian Hills Country Club Tuscaloosa membership fees are around $200 $350 + expenses per month, $4,200 per year. A family rate may be higher. Tickets and benefits are possibly $10,000 (?) per year.

In addition, Alabama paid VCU a $240,000 buyout as well as scheduling a game at VCU' campus which the Crimson Tide lost by 19 points.

According to the cited article, that contract came to a grand total of $12.84 million over the life not including bonus and incentives.

Bonuses:

Grant would receive $25,000 if his team has an APR of 925, which means an 85 percent graduation rate. In 2013, Alabama had a 77% graduation rate which was considered "an upward trend the last four years." I am going to assume he has yet to receive this bonus.

Incentives:

  • Winning the SEC West: $15,000 (accomplished once in the 2010-11 season) [*This incentive is now invalid as the SEC has done away with divisions in basketball.]

  • Winning the SEC: $25,000 (not accomplished)

  • Qualifying for the NCAA tournament: $25,000 (accomplished once in 2011-12 season)

  • Reaching the Sweet 16: an additional $50,000 (not accomplished)

  • Reaching the Elite 8: a total of $100,000 (not accomplished)

  • Reaching the Final 4: a total of $200,000 (not accomplished)

  • Winning a national title: a total of $250,000 (LOL! Why not make it $25 million?)

RENEGOTIATION

A renegotiation in 2012 after the team's only NCAA appearance under Grant (a first round loss to Creighton) garnered him a 5.6% raise which equated to roughly a $100,000 raise per year and extended his contract one year through 2019. Aside from the outdated "win the SEC West" incentive, I assume the other bonuses or incentives were mainly unchanged.

This brought his yearly base salary plus talent fee to $1.9 million which is right around what Syracuse's Jim Boeheim and UNC's Roy Williams are making. Grant has been among the top 20 highest paid college coaches since the first day he arrived in Tuscaloosa.

THE BUYOUT

It is usually standard that coaches have some version of "behavioral" clauses in their contracts. Grant is a boy scout so I cannot see him getting fired for indiscretions.

At this point, it would be admitting that the dismissal is without cause and that there are no violations that could have allowed the school to fire him without pay, like in the instance of the Bobby Petrino scandal where he got no money after being let go. If new violations were to arise stemming from his time as coach, the school would have to go to court to get the buyout money back.

That said, to part ways with Mr. Grant would have reportedly cost the University around $1 million for each of the five years remaining on his contract or $5 million total. But don't freak out yet. He would not get one of those giant Happy Gilmore checks. The buyout would have been paid in monthly installments of about $83,000 a month for 60 months.

Furthermore, these deals usually call for for fired coach to make "reasonable" efforts to land a new job. In the instance of a new job, the new salary is deducted from the buyout. I can't imagine Grant not seeking another coaching job. UAB men's basketball head coach Jerod Haase for instance makes $475,000 per year. Florida lead assistant John Pelphrey who was fired from Arkansas in 2011 makes $180,000 per year. Assistant money is not as much as head coach money but it still takes a little sting out of any payout.

Curiously, there seems to be hesitancy from the Athletics department to part with that amount of money. To you and me, that is a lot of green but I don't imagine the University or the Athletics department will be having any bake sales any time soon.

CASH STRAPPED? I THINK NOT

Alabama reported $143.4 million in athletic revenue in October 2013.

Enrollment is through the roof and with it comes higher tuition and higher academic standards. These are good time at the Capstone.

WHO IS ON THE HOOK? NOBODY

Auburn is paying Gene Chizik $7,500,000 to sit around and surf monster.com. A year ago, Tennessee finished paying off former coach Phillip Fulmer and went right back on the hook for Derek Dooley to the tune of $5 million. Even li'l ol' Southern Mississippi paid Ellis Johnson $2,100,000 to go away after one season at the football helm. I cannot forsee Bama parting ways with their football coach anytime soon. Is Athletics Director Bill Battle trying to tell me Alabama cannot afford this buyout?

While schools like Auburn and Tennessee are perpetually paying off buyouts, Alabama has not fired anyone with a significant salary in recent years. All the football assistants who exited Bama did so on their own and left for equal or higher salaried jobs. Mark Gottfried has not been on the payroll in years. Former women's basketball coach Wendell Hudson got kicked upstairs.

ON SPIN CYCLE

Bill Battle is trying to spin buzzwords about hard work, having high character, and good academics. All these things are fine qualities but truth be told, most coaches can balance those things with winning. I am tired of the excuses. Maybe we need to start a new campaign: #FireBillBattle

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