Coaches’ Contracts: Rich Brooks

The parade of SEC coach contract analysis continues on with Rich Brooks‘s contract with Kentucky.

The tidy, 19-page contract between the University of Kentucky and Richard L. Brooks is interesting, but not because it has a lot of unintentionally funny legalese throughout it. It also goes beyond the fact that page 14 of it somehow got moved from between pages 13 and 15 to the end, after the signature page.

First of all, it indicates that Kentucky is serious about fielding a competitive football team within the SEC and will reward the coach handsomely for doing so. He gets a performance bonus of $50,000 each for his fifth and sixth SEC wins of a season, and $75,000 each for his seventh and eighth SEC wins in a season. He also gets $100,000 for winning the division. So, winning all 8 SEC games would give him $350,000 right there, more ten times as much as Mark Richt would get for winning all 8 SEC games and activating his SEC East championship bonus. If he wins the SEC championship game, that’s another $200,000. His non-BCS bowl bonuses are tied to the payout of the game.

Beyond the on-field bonuses he gets, Brooks also gets some for off-field achievements. If gross ticket revenue increases from the previous year, he gets 10% of that increase. So, if UK ups their ticket prices, you can bet he’s behind that all the way. In terms of academics, his bonuses are tied to a cumulative team GPA above 2.75, and curiously a minimum .925 Academic Progress Rate. If you’re not familiar with that, it’s an NCAA stat based on graduation rates, and if your team goes below .925 it loses scholarships. The academic bar is clearly not set that high.

Rich Brooks applauds his team for not flunking out of school in droves, thereby earning him up to an extra $55,000. Any picture of Rich Brooks in UK gear must really unnerve Oregon fans.

One of the key arguments in the Rich Rodriguez contract dispute with WVU is an allegation by Rodriguez that the school promised him they’d upgrade the facilities, but the school has yet to do that. He should have borrowed Rich Brooks’s agent then, because Brooks had university-provided “improvements to the Football Program” written right into his contract. The lesson, as always, is that if you want something done you need to have it in writing.

There really isn’t much else to note, other than the use of fake-sounding words like “effectuate,” because this is a remarkably clear and concise contract. If you’re wondering about any mentions of the basketball program, because this is Kentucky we’re talking about and I know you are, he gets four tickets to every home game. That’s the only mention of basketball in the whole thing.

Selected Quotes:

“Coach’s duties, responsibilities and obligations shall be those normally associated with the position of head football coach at a Division I university such as the University of Kentucky.”

Because we wouldn’t want to require anything extraordinary out of Rich Brooks. Then again, competing in the SEC at Kentucky probably falls in the “extraordinary” bucket.

“The University agrees to undertake and provide additional improvements to the Football Program in an effort to increase the overall success of the Football Program.”

Yeah, it’s somewhat vague. Still, had Rich Rodriguez got this put in his contract, well, he’d actually have leg to stand on in his current dispute with WVU concerning unfulfilled promises regarding facilities upgrades.

“It is not the intention of the parties that this Agreement be terminable for minor, technical or otherwise insignificant University regulations or for NCAA or SEC violations which do not entail the risk of major institutional penalties.”

No coach ever gets fired for a technicality unless the school really, really wants him gone, but I have yet to see another coach have a protection against that written in his contract.

When Rich Brooks speaks, the media fires up the bleep machine.


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