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Final Four illustrates big perks for Oregon's Altman, other coaches

Oregon men's basketball coach Dana Altman ranks 11th in the NCAA among college basketball coaches in total pay at $2.65 million per year.

Oregon men's basketball head coach Dana Altman (photo by Jamie Squire / Getty Images)

Oregon men’s basketball coach Dana Altman may be surrounded by family and friends at this weekend’s NCAA tournament Final Four in Glendale, Ariz.

And it may well end up on the Oregon athletics department’s tab.

Under a provision in his contact, “upon presentation of proper receipts,” Altman can get up to $25,000 a year in reimbursements for “travel expenses incurred by him to visit friends or relatives, travel expenses incurred by him to have relatives or friends visit, or travel expenses incurred by him to have friends or relatives attend University athletic events.”

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Altman’s immediate family had been covered by a separate part of his deal, under which the university agrees to pay for his wife and dependent children to travel within the continental United States to postseason games, including the Pac-12 Conference tournament. (All of Altman's four children are out of college, and his wife and one other family member get to go to all regular-season away games.)

Game tickets? All but a done deal. Oregon “shall make a good faith effort to provide” Altman with 12 tickets to each away, conference tournament and postseason game.

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Altman is getting $1.8 million in basic compensation for this season, and he’s set for an annual retention payment that this year will give him $850,000 if he remains Oregon’s head coach through the end of his contract year, April 25. In addition, he’s picked up $215,000 in incentive bonuses so far.

But he’s far from the only highly compensated men’s basketball coach with family travel considerations built into his contract.

Kansas will pay “the reasonable travel expenses” of Bill Self’s wife and children in attending his team’s games outside Lawrence.

Arizona coach Sean Miller’s wife and children under 23 can get seats on team charter flights to postseason games, along with game tickets.

These types of provisions are among the array of perks, bonuses and unusual arrangements coaches have in their contracts.

  • Self gets all of the athletics department’s royalty payments from the sale of in-store retail merchandise by KUStore.com during every June, including dorm sales during basketball camps.
  • Maryland’s Mark Turgeon gets the use of a suite for all football home games.
  • Kansas State’s contract with Bruce Weber acknowledges that he owns the domain name www.coachbruceweber.com, although Weber agrees to license its use to Kansas State and its internet affiliates on a royalty-free basis for as long as he remains the school’s coach.
  • Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton is entitled to operate a camp as a private enterprise and keep the profits in excess of expenses. The school helps with this by agreeing to reimburse expenses “directly related to the operation of the camp” in an amount not to exceed $50,000 per year. Hamilton also has 17 bonus provisions in his contract that provide him with the opportunity to gain a total of $2.675 million in incentives in a season. He picked up $450,000 of that this season.
  • East Tennessee State agreed to provide Steve Forbes with free tuition at the university for one dependent.
  • As long as Michigan State coach Tom Izzo does not leave the school for another college basketball coaching job or get fired for specific causes, he is entitled to four tickets and a parking pass for all Michigan State regular-season football and basketball home games for the rest of his life. The school agrees to “use its best efforts to accommodate the coach's seating preferences for each game (club seats, box seats, suite seats, seats that are located near seats of other family or friends, etc.).”

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