By John Helsley
It’s been three months since the news of Travis Ford’s rich new contract at Oklahoma State.
A deal worth $20.375 million carrying through 2019. A deal that makes Ford the highest paid hoops coach in the country under the age of 40.
Those were the basics, although big basics, revealed three months ago. Well, the contract has finally been made public, finalized and presented for public perusing.
And here’s a few of the perks of being a Division I basketball coach, at least in Stillwater:
* In addition to the compensation package — $3.725 million in base salary and $16.65 million attached to talent and personal services if he remains at OSU through the end of the deal — the school is also contributing $400,000 annually to an employee retirement program for Ford.
* A fully insured, dealer provided vehicle.
* Membership, including initiation fees, to Karsten Creek.
* As many as 30 tickets per home basketball games.
* Use of a corporate suite at Gallagher-Iba for all regular-season home basketball games.
* Four tickets for home football games.
As protection for the university, termination of the contract without cause by Ford or a new employer would require a $3 million buyout, payable within 30 days.
Ford also signed off on an agreement that he would not personally or indirectly (through an agent or representative) inquire into, seek, negotiate for or accept other full-time or part-time employment of any nature without first obtaining written permission from the athletic director and school president. Such permission will not be “unreasonably withheld.”
Pretty good deal — for both sides, at least in some regards.
Great deal for Ford.
And for OSU and athletic director Mike Holder, the buyout clause should keep all but the biggest of big dog programs from sniffing around Ford.