August 07, 2008
Before Mario Chalmers was Super Mario -- even before Kansas steamrolled North Carolina in the Final Four -- there was a brief amount of speculation surrounding the chance that T. Boone Pickens' deep booster pockets could lure Kansas coach Bill Self to Oklahoma State, Self's alma mater. Pickens' offer was incredibly high, like, no-one-should-make-that-much-to-coach-basketball high, and so people had to briefly consider the idea that Self could be lured by money from a dream situation at Kansas. It seemed unlikely, but you never know with college coaches. They're crazy like that.
What people, including myself, probably overlooked during those rumors was that hey, Kansas has some pretty deep pockets too. And they love their basketball. Couldn't Self just get a really big contract from Kansas?
That answer? Yes. Yes he could:
Bill Self, the Kansas basketball coach who guided the Jayhawks to their first NCAA championship in 20 years, signed a 10-year, $30 million contract Wednesday. The deal had been in the works since April, when Self’s Jayhawks came from nine points down in the final minutes to beat Memphis in a thrilling title game and he subsequently turned down an offer to return to Oklahoma State, his alma mater. Kansas and Self, 45, said in April he had agreed to the deal while the details were worked on. Kansas also agreed to big raises for his staff as well as improvements on the school’s basketball facilities.
In case my bold emphasis wasn't enough, that's 10 years, $30 million. To coach college basketball. It's at this juncture I'd like to point out that most NFL players -- even above-average, sturdy NFL players -- don't make $30 million in their careers. Bill Self will eclipse that number in a few years. That's insane.
So that whole time we were freaking out about Self bolting for OSU's big pockets, he was quietly working on a deal with Kansas to make him insanely rich. Then, he went out and won a national championship and landed another stellar recruiting class. Then he got that dough. Not a bad year, all things considered.