Aaron Harrison's game-winning three that put his team into the Final Four may very well end up being the iconic shot of this tournament. It was also a shot that that put a lot of money in a lot of people's pockets, and none of them is named Aaron Harrison.
Shortly after the game ended, USA Today's Steve Berkowitz sent out this tweet:
Aaron Harrison's shot was worth nearly $330,000 in Final Four bonuses to #Kentucky men's basketball coaches and the athletics director
— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) March 30, 2014
He's not wrong. All of the Kentucky coaches' contracts are online. Here's a breakdown of the bonuses received by each member of the Kentucky coaching staff and the school's athletics director due to the team reaching the Final Four:
- Head coach John Calipari gets a $150,000 bonus. This amount is added on top of the two $100,000 bonuses that Calipari already received when Kentucky reached the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.
- Assistant coach Kenneth Payne gets a bonus equal to two months salary. Payne makes $350,000 a year, so his bonus will end up being about $58,333.
- Assistant coach John Robic also gets a bonus equal to two months salary. He makes $300,000 a year, so he'll get an extra $50,000.
- Same deal for assistant coach Orlando Antigua, who makes $275,000 a year. His bonus will be $45,833.
- Athletics director Mitch Barnhart will get a $25,000 bonus, in addition to the $25,000 bonus he got when Kentucky made it into the tournament.
Oh, and let's not forget the $1.5 million that the SEC will receive thanks to Kentucky's success. Each time a team wins a tournament game, they earn another "unit," which leads to a $1.5 million payout to the team's conference, which then decides how to distribute the money.
As for the shot itself? It was a ballsy thing, oozing with the kind of fuck-what-the-coach-drew-up confidence—poor Julius Randle is still waiting for that dribble hand-off—that we are used to seeing from the likes of Kevin Durant and LeBron James. It wasn't the result of a fine-tuned offensive set, or a hustle play that stemmed from "good coaching." It was just Aaron Harrison, pulling up from way behind the arc with a hand in his face, winning a game. It was the kind of shot that people should get paid to hit.