Kudos to Rick Barnes [Archive] - SEC Sports Forum | SEC Basketball | SEC Football


View Full Version : Kudos to Rick Barnes

01-21-2016, 08:27 AM

If college sports agents had a hit list, Rick Barnes would be on it.

Tennessee’s basketball coach actually said he thinks college coaches are overpaid. He actually said he doesn’t think they should be paid millions for being fired after failing. He actually said he doesn’t see a need for agents.

“I don’t want to give an agent 15 percent of what I think I can negotiate myself,” Barnes said recently.

Heavens to Jerry Maguire! What in the world is Barnes’ thinking?

Those loud groans you heard? They’re from the likes of Drew Rosenhaus and Jimmy Sexton.

“I’m a grown man,” Barnes said. “(Tennessee athletic director) Dave Hart is a grown man. We should be able to sit down and talk about what we need to talk about.”

If that sounds old-fashioned, it is. In many respects, Barnes is old-fashioned. He is also refreshing. And much of what he says is true.

Barnes doesn’t buy into the concept of buyouts. Why in the world would a school pay a coach a substantial amount for failing? Florida paid Will Muschamp a $7 million buyout after his four-year failure. Tennessee paid Derek Dooley a $5 million buyout after his three-year failure.

The Dooley buyout is particularly puzzling. He was making $450,000 a year as Louisiana Tech’s coach and athletic director. Tennessee had all the leverage, even though the Vols were in a rush to hire a coach in mid-January after Lane Kiffin’s departure. But are you telling me Dooley wouldn’t have taken the job if the Vols offered a $1 million buyout?

And if Dooley had said “no,’ UT could’ve jumped to the next person on the list, who happened to be Kevin Sumlin, then at Houston.

One reason LSU kept coach Les Miles is because he had a $15 million buyout. Arkansas’ Bret Bielema has a $15 million buyout.

Huge buyouts even extend to coordinators. In 2012, Tennessee lured linebacker coach Sal Sunseri away from Alabama to be defensive coordinator and paid him $800,000 a year for three years. Sunseri was a major bust, got fired and Tennessee was on the hook for $1.6 million over the next two years.

Those numbers are absurd to Barnes – and to me, too.

Barnes and I have the same philosophy on this: If a coach is succeeding, pay him. If he isn’t, don’t give him a parachute of a buyout. It makes no sense.

Barnes said in his 17 years as Texas basketball coach, he never had a buyout if he were fired.

Barnes said he told his then-AD DeLoss Dodds: “Here’s the bottom line – if you don’t want me here, I won’t be here, and if I don’t want to be here, you shouldn’t want me here.

“I said to him: ‘Do you have a buyout?’

“He said, ‘No.’

“And I said: ‘Why should I?’ ”

Barnes added: “I don’t think I should get paid if I’m not working. So many coaches get their whole contract guaranteed. And I think it’s crazy that a university would ever do that.”

Me, too. Think of the money that schools have wasted because they gave a coach a huge buyout and had to fire him for being incompetent. Think of the many boosters who get tired of seeing their donations pay off a coach who did a sorry job.

In how many other professions do you get wealthy for doing lousy work?

“If I were an athletic director,” Barnes said, “I would want to be able deal head-up, straight up with my coaches. I don’t know if I’d want a third party (involved).”

Barnes said he has never has had an agent.

Does he have a buyout at Tennessee?

Yes — which Barnes said is because Hart wanted to include it in the contract.

What is the buyout?

“I don’t even know,” Barnes said.

Barnes said he remembers one year at Texas when his contract was going to be renewed. He said he told Dodds, “I don’t think I deserve the same contract as a guy that has already won a national championship.”

Barnes said he was paid a similar amount to other successful coaches who had not won a national title.

Barnes did admit that when he did win big and gained leverage, he brokered for raises for his assistants and benefits for his program.

Barnes said Dodds often told him, “Coach, let’s switch positions while we are talking. Now you tell me what you think is fair.”

If only it could be that simple again.

Instead, too often coaches are getting rich for failing, agents are getting rich for striking buyout deals and donors are getting burned because their money isn’t going where they want.

It’s a cycle that appears won’t be broken, regardless of what Barnes says.

Dawg in Dallas
01-21-2016, 08:32 AM
That is refreshing...

01-21-2016, 01:32 PM