Can money really buy you an NCAA title?
By now you know that Kentucky backed up a Brinks truck to John Calipari's house in Memphis to entice the 50 year old coach to come and placate their insane fan base. Calipari now takes over in Lexington and for his trouble(and the expectation UK should win the 2011 national title) he will be paid $3.5 million per season. Calipari also gets a $2.5 million signing bonus and various incentives that could push his annual salary higher. For that kind of money you would think that Calipari has a national title, maybe two under his belt as well as at least half a dozen Final Four berths.
Not so much. At present Calipari has two Final Fours, five Elite Eight appearances and zero national titles on his resume. Word is Steve Fisher is talking to the San Diego St. AD as we speak wondering where his $3.5 million is since he has one national title and three Final Fours to his credit. Unfortunately for Fisher, it does not work that way. When Roy Williams was asked about it on Tuesday he said that was the market. The everchanging salary market tends to predicate itself on paying a coach for what a school thinks he can do versus what he may have already done. UNC and Butch Davis are a prime example of this. When you are talking about the SEC the standard rules on salary go out the window. Well, at least they do when you are dealing with the two most insane fan bases in all of college sports, Alabama football and Kentucky basketball fans. Alabama drops $5 million per season on Nick Saban and UK comes close with Calipari. Again, this is how the business works now. It just seems odd that Calipari is making far more than Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Tom Izzo and Jim Calhoun, all who have a better resumes.
One more thing. I wonder if any of the intrepid reporters sitting at the introductory press conference this morning were willing to ask Calipari or his new boss how they could justify paying the coach $6 million dollars for the first season in the midst of these trying economic times? If Jim Calhoun, Butch Davis and Roy Williams are evil for the money they make, does that mean John Calipari is the devil?