Aaron Harrison

Aaron Harrison’s game-winner vs. Michigan made Kentucky $329,166

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Aaron Harrison connected on a long, contested 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to give the No. 8 seed Kentucky a 75-72 win over No. 2 seed Michigan in the Midwest Regional final on Sunday evening.

Following a season filled with bumps in the road, Harrison’s heroics gave the Wildcats a smooth road to Arlington, Texas for Saturday’s Final Four against Wisconsin. Harrison is part of a heralded freshman class, which is finally beginning to live up to the preseason hype. Kentucky needed to go through undefeated Wichita State, rival Louisville and Big Ten regular season champion Michigan in order to reach the program’s 16th Final Four. And the coaching staff and athletic department are cashing in on the team’s recent run.

Harrison’s game-winner netted $329,166 for Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart, head coach John Calipari and members of his coaching staff.

That sum was estimated by Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, who posted that number in a tweet, but it was Deadspin that broke down the money, linking to each contract for Barnhart, Calipari and his assistant coaches.

Head coach John Calipari gets a $150,000 bonus. This amount is added on top of the two $100,000 bonuses that Calipari already received when Kentucky reached the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.

Assistant coach Kenneth Payne gets a bonus equal to two months salary. Payne makes $350,000 a year, so his bonus will end up being about $58,333.

Assistant coach John Robic also gets a bonus equal to two months salary. He makes $300,000 a year, so he’ll get an extra $50,000.

Same deal for assistant coach Orlando Antigua, who makes $275,000 a year. His bonus will be $45,833.

Athletics director Mitch Barnhart will get a $25,000 bonus, in addition to the $25,000 bonus he got when Kentucky made it into the tournament.

These large bonuses will further anger those who feel student-athletes should be compensated by their respective universities, as this story comes to light only days after it was reported that Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith earned an $18,000 bonus for wrestler Logan Stieber’s national championship win.

While Aaron Harrison won’t get a cut of the money for his clutch shooting, his on the court performance this March could have financial benefits in the short run. Neither of the Harrison twins have been part of DraftExpress’ mock draft for several months, though, that hasn’t been updated since March 28. Other draft boards have both Harrisons going in the first round.

CBS has Aaron listed as the No. 16 overall pick while Sporting News positions him as the No. 24 selection.

Kentucky and Wisconsin will play in the second of two Final Four games on Saturday night with a scheduled tip at 8:49 p.m. A National Title will give Calipari his second in three years at Kentucky, and a $375,000 bonus.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.