Maryland to pay Edsall $2 million per year and Turgeon $1.9 million annually

New coaches' contracts also filled with incentives

July 14, 2011|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — The contracts Maryland signed with its new men's basketball and football coaches contain incentives reflecting athletic department priorities — competing nationally, quickly leasing luxury stadium suites and selling more football season tickets, and improving athletes' classroom performance.

The contracts, obtained Thursday in a public records request, guarantee football coach Randy Edsall $2 million over each of the next six years and basketball coach Mark Turgeon $1.9 million a year over eight years.

Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said he wanted the contacts to be long enough so the coaches — both hired in 2011 — would have a comfort level and the necessary time to build the programs as they saw fit.

"I wanted to show them I had confidence in them," Anderson said. "Our [basketball] roster is going to be very thin this year, and with building and recruiting, it's going to take time."

In football, Anderson said he wanted to give Edsall more than a five-year deal, particularly because Edsall is facing the loss of scholarships and practice time due to NCAA sanctions from Ralph Friedgen's tenure as coach.

The contracts were signed in late June by the coaches, Anderson and university president Wallace Loh. Before that, the coaches had been working under memorandums of understanding that outlined basic provisions while the final details were negotiated.

Under Turgeon's deal, Maryland agreed to pay $250,000 that was owed to Texas A&M to break Turgeon's contract at his former school.

Maryland also said it would pay $400,000 owed to Connecticut — Edsall's former employer — in "contract termination expenses." But, according to Maryland officials, Edsall agreed to essentially pay Maryland back by accepting $1.6 million in guaranteed pay his first year — $400,000 less than in other contract years.

School officials said Edsall's concession — which is not outlined specifically in the contract — simply represented a negotiating choice and that he was likely to make up the $400,000 difference in incentive bonuses. The officials said Edsall could reap tax advantages by having the deal structured the deal in this way.

Edsall could not be reached for comment.

Contract termination expenses are standard in today's lucrative market for football and men's basketball coaches. The cost of doing business is considerably steeper than it was the last time Maryland hired a football or men's basketball coach (Friedgen in 2000).

Universities insert contract buyout language to protect themselves financially in the event their coaches are courted by other schools. Maryland's contract with Edsall stipulates that Edsall must pay Maryland $2 million if he accepts another school's football job in the first two years of his contract. Turgeon's deal says he'd owe Maryland $500,000 if he took a similar job in the next three years.

Edsall was hired in January to replace Friedgen, who also made about $2 million and whose final contract year was bought out. Turgeon was hired in May as the successor to Gary Williams, who retired.

Williams had made about $2 million per year with incentives. His deal, unlike Turgeon's, had a provision that lengthened the contract period if his team made the NCAA tournament and met specific academic goals. In 2010, Williams received a $318,000 bonus for finishing the regular season in a two-way tie (with Duke) in the ACC regular-season standings. But Williams did not get bonuses for making the NCAA tournament.

Turgeon's bonuses are different. Among other incentives, he would get $50,000 for winning the ACC regular-season title, $25,000 for an NCAA tournament bid, $100,000 for an Elight Eight appearance, and $150,000 for a Final Four trip.

Edsall's deal contains a $100,000 bonus if there is an annual increase in rentals of Byrd Stadium luxury suites of at least 50 percent. The coach also would receive $100,000 if season ticket sales increase 25 percent or more in a year.

Season-ticket sales have slumped the past five years, and Maryland has struggled to lease all of the luxury suites and premium seating in the renovated Tyser Tower, part of Byrd Stadium.

The $100,000 season-ticket incentive matches the bonus that would be awarded to Edsall for winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

There are also incentives in both coaches' contracts for academic achievements. The guaranteed income for both men includes base salaries of $400,000 and payments for radio and television, fund-raising and other activities.

The contracts, obtained Thursday in a public records request, guarantee football coach Randy Edsall $2 million over each of the next six years and basketball coach Mark Turgeon $1.9 million a year over eight years.

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