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Mason's Continued Final Four Haul

Whlie trying to track down Kenner League highlights, here is an incredibly detailed look at CAA basketball incentives from JMU beat writer and Local College Hoops Top 11 voter Dustin Dopirak, which appeared during my vacation. Dustin is exploring the finances behind CAA basketball, but he gets into the explicit monetary rewards for success (obviously aside from things like season ticket sales, increased donations, merchandise, and tickets handed out to drunken tailgaters):

(By John McDonnell - TWP)
According to CAA commissioner Tom Yeager, the league recently changed its distribution system to serve as motivation for each school. The league first splits its tournament share 60-40, with each school receiving an equal share of the 60 percent. To get any part of the 40 percent, however, teams must earn "shares," as Yeager called them, through their basketball performance.

Each team gets two shares for each tournament game played, and two shares for each tournament game won. Teams get one share for a conference championship, and one share for either a non-conference record over .500 or an RPI higher than 100. A team that meets both of the last criteria still earns only one share.

That, obviously, produces a major gap between teams like Mason and teams like Madison. The money distributed by the conference on July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year, was from the 2006 tournament. Thanks to its Final Four run, Mason earned 12 of the 21 shares from that pool, and received $265,000. Teams, like JMU, that only got a share from the 60 percent pool netted $53,000.

Because the NCAA's conference shares carry over for six years, George Mason will get an even fatter check next summer. Yeager said the conference expects to be paid $1.5 million, and Mason will receive $315,500, while the teams that didn't earn a share will get $76,000.

Call me crazy, but I'm not sure why a team that has a bad RPI, a losing non-conference record and no NCAA tournament appearance deserves even 20 percent of what a recent Final Four team should get. I'm all for sharing, but George Mason's contribution to the CAA's basketball profile in recent years is surely greater than five times that of JMU.

Dustin also gathered salary info for the league's public-school coaches. According to his story:

Anthony Grant (VCU): $400,000 base
Jim Larranaga (George Mason): $375,000 base plus a $75,000 annual bonus
Rod Barnes (Georgia State): $200,000 base
Blaine Taylor (ODU): $200,000
Benny Moss (UNCW): $170,000
Dean Keener (JMU): $160,000 base plus at least $35k radio and TV
Tony Shaver (W&M): $125,000

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 26, 2007; 10:28 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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