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UCLA Men’s Basketball: Steve Alford’s Contract Extension Increases Buyout and Potential Bonuses

Steve Alford’s contract extension now includes a $25,000 bonus for making the Round of 32.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

When Steve Alford’s contract extension was announced last week, the finer details of his contract were not announced. It left Bruin basketball fans wondering whether or not Alford was given a raise, had his buyout raised or if his potential bonuses were increased.

Today, through a public records request, Bruins Nation obtained a copy of Alford’s contract extension along with his initial contract and two previous amendments.

The good news about Amendment #3 (as the current extension is referred to in the documents) is that it does not include any kind of substantial raise nor does it raise the mutual buyout back to $7.8 million before April 30, 2018 as Amendment #1 (the extension Alford gave back last year) had done.

The bad news is that it does raise the mutual buyout by $1 million each year. So, the buyout is raised from $5.2 million to $6.2 million if the contract is terminated before April 30, 2018. It is raised from $2.6 million to $3.6 million if the contract is terminated before April 30, 2019. It also adds a $1 million buyout if the contract is terminated before April 30, 2020.

The other increase contained in Amendment #3 is an increase to the potential bonuses Steve Alford can earn. Previously, Alford had a maximum potential bonus of $270,000. Now, his maximum potential bonuses total $310,500. That’s an increase of $40,500.

Unfortunately, the bonus increases continue to reward mediocre results, instead of incentivizing championship performance.

Alford’s contract previously gave him a $10,000 bonus if the team achieved an Academic Progress Rate of 925. This was modified to an APR of 930 in Amendment #1. Rather that simply increasing the required APR to reward academic performance, Amendment #3 adds an additional $10,500 if the team achieves an APR of 950.

The amended contract now raises the bonus for winning the Pac-12 regular season championship (or co-championship) from $20,000 to $25,000.

Finally, it adds an additional $25,000 bonus for making the NCAA Round of 32, which was not in the original contract or the previous amendments.

This addition is just ridiculous. Alford now gets paid $25,000 just for making sure the team isn’t a one-and-done in the NCAA Tournament.

Instead, what should have been done is that the National Champions and Final Four bonuses should have been raised by $12,500 each, the Elite Eight bonus should have been raised by $15,000 and the APR bonus required should have been raised to 950 and increased by $500. That would have been a better way to incentivize a coach who has still never made it past the Sweet 16.

Here’s a look at the original bonus structure compared to the new bonus structure:

Steve Alford’s Bonus Structure

Condition for Bonus Original Contract Amedment #3
Condition for Bonus Original Contract Amedment #3
APR greater than 925 (Amended to 930 in Amendment #1) $10,000 $10,000
APR greater than 950 N/A $10,500
Pac-12 Coach of the Year $10,000 $10,000
National COTY $15,000 $15,000
Pac-12 Tournament Champs $15,000 $15,000
Pac-12 regular season champs $20,000 $25,000
NCAA Tournament selection $25,000 $25,000
Round of 32 N/A $25,000
Sweet 16 $25,000 $25,000
Elite 8 $25,000 $25,000
Final Four $50,000 $50,000
National Champions $75,000 $75,000
Total $270,000 $310,500

Here’s his full contract including the original contract, the first extension, the amendment which removed that extension and the extension returned in September 2017.

What are your thoughts about this extension now that the details are known? Leave them in the comments below.

Go Bruins.