What’s a ‘money game’ and how is Montana taking advantage?

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With small budgets at the low-major levels of Division I basketball, teams many times take advantage of “money games,” or games in which small-conference schools travel to the home arenas of high-major teams for early season matchups, in exchange for cash.

These are mutually beneficial. Though we might see a 100-52 blowout, the high-major gets a chance to get into the swing of things before more difficult non-conference games, while the small school gets to play on the big stage, and adds a little cash to the bank.

Fresh off an NCAA tournament berth last season, Montana is installing an incentive based on these “money games” into the contract extension of coach Wayne Tinkle.

According to the Associated Press, Tinkle must generate $80,000 per year in “money game” guarantees, and is able to share any additional money up to $150,000 with his assistants.

Tinkle will receive a base salary of $135,000, in addition to incentives and other bonuses for athletic and academic progress.

The most appealing part for the school, as the report points out, is that Tinker can have a more competitive salary, while not burdening the state. With revenue coming from other sources, Montana will not have to pay as much, but could keep him in the head coaching role.

Montana finished last season with an overall record of 25-7, including 15-1 in the Big Sky. The team played what could be assumed to be a “money game” against Oregon State on December 4, a 71-46 loss on the road.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_