Athletics Gets Bigger at U of L

No one seems to be shocked anymore at the remuneration that college coaches get from schools. Still, it’s eye-popping that U of L is going to pay Rick Pitino $3.9 million a year, up from $3 million annually, in a 4-year contract starting in the 2013-14 season.  The terms of the deal were announced by U of L today, along with some other big athletic news and a record $68.8 million budget.

Pitino, of course, is under a lot of pressure to win, or at least to catch up with John Calipari in cool points and media love. His salary is $100K per win, in a good year. He’s got a big new arena and the responsibility to keep the seats full and the beer flowing. But still, $3.9 million?

The amazing building projects on campus, which didn’t seem to be fazed by the economics of the rest of the world, will continue. U of L wants to add to its baseball stadium, with an outfield terrace and twice as many seats. It’s also going to upgrade the softball complex.

And the school has hired an architect for a stand-alone soccer stadium (see what making the NCAA finals will do!), even though no site has been chosen.

AD Tom Jurich told today’s Athletic Association meeting that football season tickets are approaching 40,000.