Coaches, ADs collect APR bonuses
by Steve Berkowitz, Jodi Upton and Christopher Schnaars, USA TODAY Sports
How do you put a value on college education? Within the world of major college sports, you could look at the millions of dollars in bonus money available to coaches and athletics directors based on their teams’ academic performance.
Tuesday, the NCAA released its new Academic Performance Rate (APR) figures — one of several metrics schools use to create academic incentive provisions for athletics personnel.
APR-related provisions are bringing bonuses of $150,000 to Colorado State football coach Jim McElwain and $100,000 to South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, but a USA TODAY Sports analysis of various employment contracts found many smaller amounts going to AD’s and to coaches in virtually every sport. For instance, Murray State men’s basketball coach Steve Prohm is in line for $500; North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell $30,000; Arizona women’s gymnastics coach Bill Ryden $7,500.
Alabama-Birmingham AD Brian Mackin qualified for $35,000 based on the scores of each of his school’s teams.
Conversely, LSU football coach Les Miles missed out on one of the three ways he can get a $200,000 academic bonus because his team’s APR fell below 960 (it was 944, after four consecutive years of being at least 960); Miles still could get the bonus based on the team’s graduation rate or grade-point average.
LSU AD Joe Alleva will not get the $50,000 bonus he would have received if all of LSU’s teams had attained APRs of at least 925; the men’s cross country team’s was 913, the men’s basketball team’s 909.
“In a sense (APR bonuses) are a good thing because the coaches have to be concerned with athletes making progress like a normal student, but why do you have to incentivize coaches to do that?” said Michael Bowen, a professor in South Florida’s College of Busienss who chairs the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, an alliance of faculty senates at Bowl Subdivision schools.
While APR and other academically related bonuses are usually less lucrative than the amounts offered for athletic achievement, Bowen said even the academic … [For more on It's academic: Coaches, ADs collect APR bonuses, click here.]