The money-making opportunities start Wednesday with the First Four games.
You may think you have a lot of money at stake when entering an NCAA men’s basketball tournament contest.
Unless you’re working with a bookmaker or for a company with access to Warren Buffett’s bracket challenge, you’ve got nothing on the coaches and administrators whose teams are the field of 68.
Nearly all of the coaches working for public schools can get bonuses depending on their teams’ performances, including some who can pick up money for winning one of the First Four games on Tuesday or Wednesday night. (Of course, unlike you, the coaches already have some bonus money in their pockets for getting to the tournament.)
Both of the public-school coaches in Tuesday’s games – UCLA’s Steve Alford and Radford’s Mike Jones – will have to win again in a first-round game on Friday to get their incentive earnings so far. However, all three of the public-school coaches in Wednesday night’s games will pick up money with a win.
Arizona State’s Bobby Hurley will get $50,000 if the Sun Devils beat Syracuse. If Texas Southern defeats North Carolina Central, Mike Davis will pick up an amount equal to one month of his $250,000 base salary – or, $20,833 – and his assistants will get to share $5,000. If NCCU wins, LeVelle Moton will receive $21,000 and his assistants will each get $2,500.
If their teams keep winning, the money will keep piling up, according to contracts acquired by USA TODAY Sports in conjunction with Syracuse University’s S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Under new terms approved in February by the Arizona Board of Regents, Hurley went from being able to get one bonus for the NCAA tournament, based on the team’s final outcome, to being able to get a series of cumulative bonuses that increase in value with each round. Under his prior terms, if the Sun Devils won the national championship, Hurley would have gotten a $500,000 bonus. Now, with $25,000 in hand for making the field of 68, Hurley can get the $50,000 for tonight, plus:
• $75,000 for making the round of 32.
• $100,000 for making the round of 16.
• $150,000 for making the round of eight.
• $200,000 for making the Final Four.
• $300,000 for making the championship game.
• $500,000 for winning the title.
That would be a total of $1.4 million.
No. 1-seeded Virginia’s Tony Bennett and No. 9-seeded Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton also could stack up more than $1 million based on their teams’ entry into, and performance in, the tournament.
Hamilton is getting $200,000 for the Seminoles’ selection and $50,000 more because they’ve made the tournament in back-to-back seasons. He can add to his total with each round the team advances.
Bennett earned $100,000 for the Cavaliers’ run to the ACC tournament championship, $150,000 for being No. 1 in the final Associated Press media poll of the season, which was released Monday, and $50,000 for being named ACC coach of the year. He won’t add any more unless Virginia advances to the round of 16.
Things look a little different for coaches at schools outside the Power Five conferences. For example:
• South Dakota State’s T. J. Otzelberger will get $10,000 per tournament win.
• Cal State Fullerton’s Dedrique Taylor will get $4,000 for a first-round win, an additional $8,000 for a second-round win and another $12,000 for getting to the round of eight. Reaching the Final Four and winning the championship each would give him an amount equivalent to one month of his $216,420 base salary – or $18,035 per achievement.
• Nevada’s Eric Musselman will get $10,000 for each round in which his team plays, with an additional $100,000 for making the Final Four and another $100,000 for winning the title.

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