Los$ cost Pearl

Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl lost more than a ball game Saturday when his Vols fell 80-73 to Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 32. He lost $9,000, as well.

The contract Pearl signed last March called for him to receive a base pay of $225,000 with several incentive clauses based on that figure.

For instance, making the NIT would earn him an 8-percent bonus ($18,000). Making either the NIT Final Four or the NCAA Tournament would earn him a 16-percent bonus ($36,000).

Winning the SEC East title would earn him a 20-percent bonus $45,000). Winning the SEC overall title or advancing to the Sweet 16 would earn him a 24-percent bonus ($54,000).

Just so you'll know, a Final Four appearance would've earned Pearl a 28-percent bonus ($63,000) and a national title would've netted a 32-percent bonus ($72,000).

The bonuses were not cumulative, however. He could collect only on the highest one.

When Tennessee clinched the SEC East title, Pearl assured himself a 20-percent bonus of $45,000. Making the NCAA field only carried a $36,000 bonus, so the 20-percent bonus remained in effect. Had the Vols beaten Wichita State Saturday in Greensboro to earn a Sweet 16 bid, however, Pearl's bonus would've jumped to $54,000.

Still, counting camps, endorsements, radio/TV contracts, etc., the coach reeled in around $845,000 in his first year overseeing the program. He also got a new contact that bumps his base pay to $300,000 and guarantees him an average of $1.3 million over each of the next six years.

Bottom line: Bruce will manage, even without the $9,000 he would've earned by making the Sweet 16.

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