John Calipari deserves tremendous credit for the job he’s done in Memphis, but any program looking to shower him with riches can also take into account a) what it took for UMass to reach the Final Four (ie. paying Marcus Camby) and b) the coach’s history when dealing with media that aren’t fawning enough.
The Greensboro News-Record’s Jim Young on NC State’s attempts to recruit Calipari.
While Calipari likely visited the RBC Center and the Dail Basketball Complex when he came to N.C. State, he left behind an athletics director and boosters in Memphis who were feverishly trying to come up with a compensation package to match any offer from the Wolfpack.
N.C. State reportedly has offered Calipari a deal worth approximately $2 million a year over the lifetime of the contract.
Earlier Monday, the Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis reported the Tigers would likely present Calipari with a contract worth between $1.5 million and $1.7 million annually. With a $2.5 million annuity included, which would kick in if Calipari stayed through the 2009-10 season, Memphis would at least be competitive with N.C. State in compensation.
But the Tigers play in Conference USA, which was relegated to essentially mid- major status when Cincinnati, Louisville, DePaul, Marquette and South Florida left to join the Big East.
And Calipari’s contract at Memphis apparently has been a thorny issue. Two weeks ago, Calipari said he would remain coach of the Tigers as long as the administration was “fair” and the school was “committed to being a Top 10 program.”
The shoe company adidas also may play a role in Calipari’s eventual destination. N.C. State and Virginia Tech are the only men’s basketball programs in the ACC that have deals with adidas, as opposed to its main competitor, Nike. As coach, Calipari, who has a deal with adidas, could keep N.C. State from turning to a rival shoe company.