We sometimes forget that sitting on the bubble for the NCAA tournament can eventually have real monetary implications. In the case of Kentucky coach John Calipari, that could mean close to a quarter of a million dollars.
According to Forbes, Calipari would be set to make an additional $700,000 if the Wildcats won the national championship. That would be part of a larger bonus package that pays him performance-based incentives as Kentucky moves through the tournament, including $100,000 for a Sweet 16 appearance. Bonuses or not, Calipari is still getting a good chunk of change from UK.
The coach rakes in $3.8 million in annual pay (base salary plus income from broadcasting and endorsements), not to mention $1 million retention bonuses paid in the summer of each year he stays, excepting 2015 and 2018.
Kentucky has won 20 games this season but lost on the road to Arkansas this weekend. The Wildcats have two games remaining before the SEC tournament, one on the road at Georgia and one at home vs. No. 11 Florida. Thursday’s game against Georgia is a must-win, and a win over Florida would go a long way toward solidifying a tournament berth.
Kentucky is an even 3-3 without freshman center Nerlens Noel, who went down with an ACL tear on Feb. 12 in a loss to Florida.