Basketball coach John Groce was rewarded with a $200,000 raise, and a $25,000 bonus, after his first Illini team made the NCAA tournament in 2013. This year's team failed to reach the tournament, with the Illini losing in the second round of the NIT. But University of Illinois trustees are again considering an amendment to Groce's contract, with a possible extension of his five-year agreement. He currently earns $1.6 million annually, plus incentives. Officials won't provide any details, but the UI Board of Trustees' Governance, Personnel and Ethics Committee will meet Thursday and review an agenda item reading: "amend multiyear contract with head varsity men's basketball coach." Committee Chair Pamela Strobel said Monday she couldn't discuss the details of the proposed amendment until the committee reviews it on Thursday. The committee does not usually take formal votes on agenda items; the full board would vote at its regular meeting July 24 in Chicago. Athletic officials did not return calls or would not comment on Groce's contract details. UI spokesman Tom Hardy said the items on the committee's agenda are still drafts, and could be changed or even pulled before the meetings. "We want to hold our public comments about it until then," he said. Trustee Karen Hasara said Monday she hadn't seen the agenda item. But she added, "Unless it's totally out of line, the trustees usually trust the athletic director to do what's right." "Before I could judge, I would have to get more detail. I know he's very popular," she said. Athletic directors typically extend contracts and award raises to show confidence in their coaches and ward off negative recruiting by other schools. Groce's original contract called for a base salary of $400,000 annually, plus $1 million in additional compensation for media and marketing activities. He also gets incentive payments of $25,000 to $250,000 each year for meeting specific goals, such as a Big Ten tournament title or NCAA tournament appearance.
UI trustees may extend Groce's contract
The News-Gazette | Jul 9