While SMU president Gerald Turner long has devoted himself to advocating for college sports reform as co-chairman of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, he also has had to consider the interests of his own school. According to new federal tax records, those interests recently involved roughly quadrupling what the school was willing to pay its men's basketball coach. That's what it took for SMU to get Basketball Hall-of-Famer Larry Brown, who was credited with more than $1.9 million in compensation for the eight-plus months of 2012 that followed his hiring as Matt Doherty's successor. On an annualized basis, that put Brown's pay at almost $2.8 million. SMU tax records showed Doherty being credited with about $635,000 in 2011 and just over $650,000 in 2012, including just over $485,000 in severance pay. Brown – who came to SMU with an NBA championship as well as an NCAA title during his career – had a little more than $1.5 million in base compensation in 2012 and more than $360,000 in retirement and other deferred pay, the school's new tax return showed. The compensation figures are for the period April 20 through Dec. 31, university spokesman Kent Best said via e-mail. This is the second time Turner has presided over a high-profile coaching change that resulted in SMU paying drastically more for the new coach. In early 2008, SMU hired June Jones to replace Phil Bennett and paid Jones a $500,000 signing bonus, plus an initial base salary that was more than triple what it had been paying Bennett. (As a private school, SMU is not required to publicly disclose its employment contracts. But Turner provided the specifics about Jones' pay to USA TODAY Sports in May 2010, after SMU had filed the tax return that disclosed Jones' 2008 pay total.) In an interview this week, Turner said some of Brown's first-year pay also was in the form of a bonus, or what Turner termed "one-year support," which means Brown's recurring yearly pay is lower than the $2.8 million annualized amount. Turner said that also as was the case when SMU went about assembling the money to pay Jones over an five-year period and beyond – Jones' base compensation grew to about $1.9 million in 2012, according to SMU's new tax return – donors were tapped specifically for contributions that would back Brown's pay.
To land Larry Brown, SMU roughly quadrupled its basketball coach pay
USA Today | Apr 26