Private Flights & Country Clubs: Analyzing the Contracts of New College Basketball Coaching Hires

There were more than 50 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball head coaching changes since the start of the 2018-19 season, many of which were at public universities, which means the contract details for the head coaches at those schools are available as public records.

Stadium has acquired the signed contracts, offer letters or memorandums of understanding for 13 (and counting) of the head coaches who were hired during the latest coaching carousel.

We read through the contract details and have compiled some the most interesting details and clauses – beyond the basic details of the number of years, annual salaries and buyout amounts – that casual college basketball fans may not think about when a university names a new head coach.

For a more detailed look at the contracts of individual head coaches, click on the names below.

Nate Oats, Alabama | Eric Musselman, Arkansas | John Smith, Cal Poly | John Brannen, Cincinnati

Rob Lanier, Georgia State | Ryan Looney, Idaho State | Danny Sprinkle, Montana State

Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska | Steve Alford, Nevada | Bryan Mullins, Southern Illinois

Billy Donlon, UMKC | T.J. Otzelberger, UNLV | Dane Fischer, William & Mary

An automatic extension

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman will receive an automatic one-year extension to his five-year contract – not to exceed two extensions total during the term or seven years total for the contract term – if the Razorbacks make the NCAA Tournament.

Southern Illinois coach Bryan Mullins will receive an automatic one-year extension to his five-year contract with the university if the current Athletic Director Jerry Kill leaves Southern Illinois before March 31, 2024, when the contract term ends.


Courtesy car

Mullins will receive a courtesy car as part of his contract. If Southern Illinois doesn’t have a courtesy car currently available, the university may instead provide a vehicle allowance of a minimum of $500 per month.

This is standard procedure in contract negotiations and a perk that Cincinnati coach John Brannen, Nevada coach Steve Alford and UMKC coach Billy Donlon, among other coaches, also receive.

Alabama coach Nate Oats will receive two dealer cars for personal use or a monthly car allowance. Alabama will pay for his car insurance and all associated operating expenses. Musselman and Oztelberger also receive two vehicles on a loan basis.

Georgia State coach Rob Lanier gets an annual automobile allowance of $6,000 as part of his contract.


Cell phone stipend

Cell phone stipends can range anywhere from Mullins’ monthly $45 cell phone stipend to Oats’ monthly $225 cell phone stipend.


Country club membership

Oats will receive membership privileges at NorthRiver Yacht Club or another mutually agreed upon country club that’s within Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The university will pay all monthly membership dues, while Oats will be responsible for all personal expenses, such as food and beverage charges.

Musselman is entitled to a membership at The Blessings or Pinnacle Country Club, and at Fayetteville Athletic Club, provided that memberships are made available to the university for the benefit of its coaches. Arkansas isn’t responsible for any food minimums or purchases of goods and services at the clubs.

Georgia State will pay for an annual membership at the Commerce Club in Atlanta, Georgia, for Lanier. He will be responsible for any personal charges he or his family members make. He will be reimbursed for any business-related charges that do not exceed $2,000 annually.

Brannen, Alford and Otzelberger will receive membership to a local golf or country club, which will be paid for by Cincinnati, Nevada and UNLV, respectively.


Season tickets

Lanier will receive 30 complimentary premium tickets for every men’s basketball home game at Georgia State, plus 20 for every conference tournament game and 10 for every postseason tournament game (e.g. NCAA Tournament, NIT, etc.).

Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg will receive 10 men’s basketball season tickets and six football season tickets. Musselman will get 10 men’s basketball season tickets and five complimentary tickets for every home game at Arkansas for any other sport.

Alford receives 12 men’s basketball season tickets and up to eight tickets for every Nevada home game for any other sport.

Otzelberger will receive 15 men’s basketball season tickets and up to 10 tickets to all other university varsity sport’s home games. He’ll get four club tickets to all UNLV regular season home games.

Brannen gets eight tickets to every men’s basketball home game, AAC Tournament game and any NCAA Tournament game in which Cincinnati plays.


Apparel allowance

Oats will have an annual $5,000 athletic apparel allowance, while Lanier gets a yearly $4,000 Under Armour apparel allowance.

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Youth basketball camps

Donlon can operate a youth basketball camp at UMKC and retain 100 percent of the net income from the camp, which is defined in the contract as any revenue after paying the costs of facility rental, food, insurance, awards, officiating, entertainment, print and advertising, and remitting 20 percent of the gross income to UMKC’s athletic department.

Otzelberger can retain all profits from his youth basketball camp after deducting fees that might be due to the university for conducting the camps. The same goes for Alford.


Attendance-based incentives

Mullins will receive a bonus of $15,000 if Southern Illinois averages more than 6,000 fans per home game for a season. If Southern Illinois sells out a home game, Mullins will receive a $5,000 bonus.


Unity with athletic director

One clause in Mullins’ contract states that “major public announcements,” which would include the suspension of a player or schedule modifications, must be discussed by Mullins and his athletic director before the announcement is made public.


Other benefits

Oats will receive a $1 million accidental death and disability insurance policy. Alabama will also cover the cost of four round trips between Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Buffalo, New York, where Oats previously coached, until his family moves to Alabama. The university will pay for the cost of two round trips between Tuscaloosa and Buffalo for Oats’ wife.

UNLV coach T.J. Otzelberger received a $25,000 payment within 10 days of being hired. This essentially served as a relocation benefit, since he wasn’t eligible for moving or relocation payments as part of his contract. If Otzelberger terminates his contract with UNLV within the first year, he’ll owe $25,000 to UNLV within 30 days of termination.

Otzelberger will be reimbursed for all travel and out-of-pocket expenses in connection to his duties as head coach, such as recruiting and scouting.

Nebraska will cover the cost of up to 20 hours annually for private, non-commercial flight time for Hoiberg, which will be reported as income for Hoiberg at fair-market value. The university will pay for Hoiberg’s immediate family to travel with the team to attend a minimum of eight regular season away games and all postseason games. Nebraska will also pay for Hoiberg to attend the Final Four and provide him with two complimentary tickets.

Brannen will receive an annual $10,000 business entertainment allowance from Cincinnati.

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