Posted: 7:54 a.m. Saturday, April 13, 2013
By The Ghost of Jay Cutler
The Ole Miss Rebel athletics administration and head Ole Miss men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy agreed to a contract renegotiation that both raises Coach Kennedy's base salary and extends his contract through 2017. His base pay will now be $1.8 million, which puts him towards the middle of the pack in the SEC in terms of salary. The contract is also littered with all sorts of incentives for both regular season and postseason performance, and will increase the pay of his assistant coaches and basketball support staff.
On the one hand, this shows commitment to a coach and a program which had somewhat of a breakthrough year in 2012-13, and offers a reward for the 2013 SEC Basketball Tournament Championship and an impressive performance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. With an ongoing capital campaign successfully raising money to fund a new basketball arena, this raise easily demonstrates to players, coaches, fans, and recruits that our athletics administration is committed to the longevity and success of the Ole Miss basketball program.
On the other hand, some would argue that Andy Kennedy sold his soul a bit to earn this success, signing talented-yet-controversial players such as Jelan Kendrick (remember that guy?) and the now infamous Marshall Henderson with hopes of breaking Ole Miss out of its NCAA slump. He also is somehow still working to repair his reputation post a foray with a Cincinnati cab driver that landed him in jail one night in the fall of 2008. Considering this, some might feel that the success we're rewarding is not worth the attached controversy.
He also, until just recently, was a coach criticized heavily by the Ole Miss fan base for being unable to win games that matter. His teams have a reputation for hanging out on the bubble for nearly a month before finishing the season just poorly enough to "earn" a top seed in the NIT. Of course, an impressive SEC Tournament title sorta dispels that, at least for this most recent season, but it doesn't render the criticism entirely invalid.
So, Rebs, what are your thoughts on this raise and extension?