The Brilliance that is Musselman's Contract

On March 26th, Eric Musselman was introduced as the next head basketball coach of the Nevada Wolf Pack. When the announcement was made official, Pack City erupted in cheers and breathed a sigh of relief. However, one thing that nobody seems to be talking about is the contract that Musselman signed and how it puts Nevada in a good position going forward.

On the surface, Musselman’s contract appears to be just a basic contract; $300k per year base salary, $100k for media appearances, various performance bonuses, etc. However, there is one part that, while mentioned, hasn’t been focused on enough. This is the revenue sharing component of the contract. Musselman can make an additional $500k per year based on ticket sales for each game. If annual revenue exceeds $1.2 million, Musselman will receive 50% of the revenue, but this is capped at $500k for the year.

This revenue sharing allows Nevada to offer competitive salaries to quality coaches. We all know money is tight at Nevada. What this component of the contract allows is the coach to share in the success of the program. When the Board of Regents met to approve Musselman’s contract, they seemed to be very receptive to this part of the contract. This addition will allow Musselman (or any future coach) to make more money but won’t put the State on the hook for it. The Coach will be motivated to put an exciting product on the court or field. One that will bring fans to Lawlor & Mackay Stadium, which will generate buzz in the community and get more people interested in the program.

What Athletic Director Doug Knuth has done is position Nevada well for the future and nobody is talking about that. I expect all future contracts to have this feature in them along with any renegotiated extensions. It’s a win for everybody; the State won’t fund $1million base salary contracts but I’m willing to bet they would approve a $400k base salary with revenue sharing of $1 million (or even more) per year. With this addition we may not be able to fend off a Alabama or Ohio State when they come after our coach, but we may be able to fend off a lower tier “Power” 5 program. And that is a huge win for Nevada! Go Pack!

Correction to originally posted article, revenue enhancement was originally reported as per game, but after reviewing the contract again it is an annual number. My apologies.

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