Athletic Department covers its bases with Hinson contract

By Joe Ragusa

Men’s basketball coach Barry Hinson could make as much as his predecessor, Chris Lowery, but Hinson would have to do a substantial amount of work.

Associate Athletic Director Mark Scally said the athletic department would be open to negotiations about a larger salary than the $250,000 Hinson’s scheduled to make next season if Hinson does well, but the sting of Lowery’s contract and the poor financial environment surrounding the university makes that a dream for now.

It’s still possible that Hinson could make as much as Lowery, according to Hinson’s contract, but Hinson would have to perform at an unprecedented level to do so.


According to Lowery’s contract, he was guaranteed $750,000 with only a few additional incentives, while Hinson’s five-year contract has two and a half pages of incentives worth a possible $635,000. However, that figure includes incentives for an NCAA title and Coach of the Year award, along with incentives for ticket sales greater than $1.35 million, which SIU has never reached.

The incentives Lowery had in his contract were for paid attendance, and he earned those incentives in 2008 and 2009.

Scally said Hinson’s contract has more specific language in it for academics and player retention, which were problems during Lowery’s tenure. Player recruiting and retention is specifically described as a responsibility for Hinson, while only recruiting is listed in Lowery’s.

Both contracts address academics, although Hinson’s contract is more specific about what the Athletic Department wants Hinson and the team to improve. One of Hinson’s responibilites is to keep SIU’s Academic Progress Rate above 930, and he receives incentives of $15,000-$20,000 if the the team’s GPA is 2.6 or greater.

Lowery’s contract had no language about the APR or about the team’s GPA, just that he should encourage the academic progress of student-athletes toward graduation.

Those provisions in Lowery’s contract could play a role in buyout negotiations between SIU Legal Counsel and Lowery’s agent, Rick Giles. The termination clause in Lowery and Hinson’s contracts said the university can dismiss a coach for a material breach of his or her responsibilities, although Lowery’s contract doesn’t list player retention or specific academic performance as a responsibility.

University spokesman Rod Sievers said the university has no comment about where the buyout negotiations are, while several messages left with Giles during the past two weeks have gone unreturned.


If SIU Legal Counsel can’t prove a material breach of Lowery’s responsibilities, the university owes Lowery 100 percent of his annual base salary and any additional money he may have been owed, according to Lowery’s termination clause.

Hinson has the same salary guarantee if SIU decides to terminate his contract, although Lowery’s contract specified certain dates to meet with the Athletic Department and the chancellor to talk about his performance, whereas Hinson has no such meetings planned in his contract.

Hinson has several other notable incentives and clauses in his contract, including:

  •  $250,000 set aside for assistant coaches (Lowery had $225,000)
  •  Membership to the Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
  •  No less than four, but no more than 20 tickets to every home game
  •  A university-provided vehicle, or a monthly stipend of $500 if the university cannot provide one
  •  $10,000 if Hinson wins 20-24 games, $30,000 if he wins 25 or more
  •  $5,000 if Hinson is named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year
  •  $20,000 if SIU wins the MVC tournament
  •  $15,000 if SIU receives an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament
  •  $50,000 if SIU makes the Sweet Sixteen with incentives for each tournament win up to a national title, which would be worth up to $475,000
  •  $1,000 if SIU makes the NIT with incentives for each win up to $10,000 if SIU wins the NIT
  •  $10,000 if SIU exceeds $800,000 in ticket sales with further incentives up to $75,000 if SIU makes $1.35 million in ticket sales