Earlier this week, Ohio State athletics director signed a contract extension through 2020 that will raise his base salary to a shade over $940,000 a year, plus a $200,000 guarantee for public appearances, bringing his annual compensation to the neighborhood of $1.15 million. Considering he’s put in nearly a decade on the job and runs what may very well be the largest athletics department in the country, it’s well deserved. Competing in one of the nation’s richest and most competitive-across-the-board conferences, Ohio State sponsors 37 varsity sports and employs enough people to conquer Sweden, and is the top sporting attraction in one of the nation’s 40 largest cities.
Being the Ohio State athletics director is a massive undertaking, and Smith’s salary is commensurate with his status.
So, too, are his bonuses. According to the Associated Press, Smith can receive a $450,000 longevity bonus on June 3, 2016 and another $250,000 bonus should he stay on the job through the life of the contract. He also claims the right to 15 hours a year aboard a private jet, a $1,200 a month car allowance and family membership to a local country club. He’ll also make close to $110,000 should the Buckeyes’ football, men’s or women’s basketball team win a national championship. Again, all standard stuff.
But here’s where the contract gets interesting.
According to the AP, Smith gets a $36,000 bonus should any of Ohio State’s non-revenue sports, from baseball down to field hockey win a national champion, and he’ll be owed an $18,000 bonus (the Columbus Dispatch reports it’s closer to $15,000) if any Buckeye wins an individual national championship.
A Buckeye sprinter wins the 200? That’s $18,000 in Smith’s pocket. A Buckeye swimmer wins the 50 freestyle? That’s another $18,000. The list of potential bonuses blazes right through to diving, fencing, wrestling, gymnastics, synchronized swimming, rifle and pistol. Smith will also rake in $36,000 for any Ohio State team winning any sort of a Big Ten championship – outright, shared or a tournament championship.
Smith’s Big Ten and national championship bonuses are capped at $120,000 per academic year. With 37 teams and hundreds of athletes wearing the scarlet and gray, I’m thinking he’ll hit that figure annually. All in all, Smith could earn up to $1.5 million a year.