NEW YORK (MainStreet) With less than five seconds to go in the game, Aaron Harrison puts up a perfect three-pointer that seals the deal: Kentucky defeats Michigan and heads to the NCAA Final Four. The money shot. Certainly not for Harrison at least not yet -- but surely for the Kentucky coaches and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), all of whom will see a combined payday of about $2 million for the "nothing-but-net worth" score.
For just that one winning game, the SEC notches at least $1.5 million from the NCAA's basketball fund, according to Chris Smith with Forbes. And in figures compiled by USA Today and Deadspin, the Wildcats' head coach John Calipari will see a sweet $150,000 bonus on top of his $5.2 million base salary. Add that to the $200,000 in spiffs already in the bank for reaching the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight.
Assistant coaches aren't sitting on the bench empty-handed, either; they get a bonus of two month's salary from the win. That adds up to a total of just over $150,000 among Kenneth Payne (salary $350,000), John Robic (salary $300,000) and Orlando Antigua (salary $275,000). The trio had already banked a one month's salary bonus for making it to the tournament. In fact, just about everyone in the locker room but the players will see a little something extra put in their pockets -- even staff members are likely to see a little gravy.