Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stoops "Worth Every Penny" of Six Million

By Jake Trotter

February 21, 2008

NORMAN — Bob Stoops is about to become a $6 million coach.

Stoops, 47, is scheduled to receive a one-time $3 million benefit on Dec. 31 this year for coaching at OU 10 seasons, according to his contract obtained by The Oklahoman through the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

That $3 million benefit, combined with more than $2.77 million he'll receive in guaranteed compensation, along with additional income he could gain from various performance bonuses, means that Stoops could earn more than $6 million in 2008.

Sooner athletic director Joe Castiglione admits that figure could invite criticism of OU having misplaced priorities.

"People may question why we do certain things,” Castiglione said. "But we can measure his impact, not just with success on the field, but the way our team generates interest and excitement because of the leadership of the head coach. He positively affects so many elements of the athletic program, campus community and the state — you could talk about it from the infusion of excitement to the economic impact.”

"Bob Stoops is worth every penny and always has been and always will be.”

Castiglione points to the numbers to support his claim.

The year before Stoops arrived in Norman, OU generated only $26.1 million in athletic revenues, according to figures provided by the school.

In 2006-07 — Stoops' eighth season at OU — the athletic department generated $66.3 million in revenues, with football directly accounting for $28.5 million.

That doesn't include another $18 million in contribution, advertising and licensing dollars that football likely had a big hand in landing.

In contrast, of the $65.9 million in athletic expenses for 2006-07, football required only $15.1 million, meaning that without football OU athletics would be operating at a significant deficit.

For that reason, football is why OU has continued to not only balance its athletics budget, but is among only a handful of athletic departments to also turn a yearly profit.

The OU athletics department has contributed roughly $4 million from football ticket sales to "academic enhancements,” according to the school.

OU athletics also has the goal of finishing a $1 million endowment for the library.

"If that doesn't tell the story, I don't know what does,” Castiglione said.

"We really feel our financial model is more in line with the expectations of higher education, intercollegiate athletics and the institutional mission.”

Why Stoops is ‘the difference'

Back in 2005, the OU Board of Regents approved Stoops' $3 million benefit when renegotiating his contract through the 2011 season — just a few months after Florida made a strong push to snag Stoops as its head coach.

Since, the university has been contributing an average of $750,000 a year toward the $3 million benefit.

"The people who are generating the revenue, why on Earth wouldn't they share in it? Because without them, we wouldn't have any of it,” Castiglione said.

"I know Bob Stoops well enough that he would never make any one person including himself the difference in anything.

"But it's fair to say the program he leads is the difference between us having a broad-based athletic program that can be successful and give each of our student-athletes the chance to compete for a championship, to provide a myriad of resources to support them from the academic center to being able to travel that's comparable to other programs. All of these things do have a tie back to the success of our football program.”

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