Davis’ deal brings tears to mother’s eyes

Davis’ deal brings tears to mother’s eyes

IU coach says he will sign contract today paying him $5.6 million over six years

By Stan Sutton, Herald-Times Sports Editor

May 14, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University men’s basketball coach Mike Davis said the final touches will be put this morning on a new contract that will pay him nearly $1 million a year for the next six years.

“I’ve been out of pocket for a couple of days,” the IU coach said, explaining why the renegotiated contract hadn’t been signed late last week or Monday as had been expected.

“To me it’s a blessing. I told my mom about it and she was crying. Tears of joy,” he said in Indianapolis, where he and IU women’s coach Kathi Bennett were honored by Learfield Communications and IU Sports Properties.

Davis said his agent was going over the terms of the contract Monday night.

“It will be a six-year deal. The figure should be over $5.6 million, somewhere in that area,” the Hoosiers coach said. “Everything is fine. I’m going to get it in the morning and sign it in the morning.”

Davis coached most of the past season without a contract, but in February signed a pact for four years at $2.19 million. His salary last season, his first as permanent coach, was $175,000 and his 2002-03 salary under the February contract called for him to make $225,000.

He also was guaranteed $250,000 a year in outside income. Retirement benefits, deferred compensation and use of an IU car added another $55,000 to his annual earnings.

By taking Indiana to the championship game of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament, the former Alabama Mr. Basketball is in line to receive payoffs for salary incentives in his contract. Those included a bonus for sharing the Big Ten championship, for reaching the Final Four and for having a team maintain a certain academic level.

Davis said there were no specific roadblocks in his negotiations with IU’s chief administrative officer Terry Clapacs and athletics director Michael McNeely.

Davis attracted nationwide attention on the eve of IU’s national championship game against Maryland by saying he hoped to get a raise and saying his lifetime ambition was to coach in the National Basketball Association.

Later, Davis pointed out that he had “joked” often during the season about getting a raise as the Hoosiers improved. He had also spoken frequently of his love for the NBA.

“Where would I really want to go? I have made that statement a lot,” he said Monday night. “It’s kind of like me marrying Halle Berry or Janet Jackson. There’s no way I’m going to do that.

“That comment was really blown up, not to people who know me but people who don’t know me.”

Davis reiterated that he hopes to coach the Hoosiers for a long time.

“I wish I’d signed a 10-year deal, a 20-year deal. I want to be here … Indiana’s one of the top five programs in the country,” he said.

Davis said his talk about the NBA did nothing to dissuade potential recruits from considering Indiana.

“It was positive. They know that I do watch the NBA. How could you not watch NBA games if you’re trying to recruit players who want to play in the NBA?” he asked.

Continuing, he said, “The administration has been really good to me, and I’m looking forward to being at IU for a long time.”