Skip to main content

Details of Mel Tucker's contract are out

We knew the broad strokes of Mel Tucker's Michigan State contract -- six years, double what he was making at Colorado -- and now thanks to the Detroit Free Press we know the finer points.

Let's dig in, shall we?

-- Tucker's salary will start at $5.5 million and breaks out as follows: $3.8 million in salary, $1.2 million in "supplemental pay," $100,000 in shoe and apparel money (Michigan State is a Nike school) and a $400,000 annual retention bonus.

-- Tucker's $5.5 million salary places him above Tom Izzo and $1.2 million more than Mark Dantonio earned after 13 years as Michigan State's head coach. It's 229 percent of the $2.4 million he earned at Colorado. If the Tuckers don't already have a bouquet of roses en route to the Fickell residence in Cincinnati, they should.

-- Tucker can earn more money for running Michigan State's summer camps, which is separate from his 6-year contract.

-- Tucker's $5.5 million salary would place him 12th nationally based on 2019 figures and fourth in the Big Ten. He's likely to be fifth once Ryan Day's coming raise comes through. He'd be nearly $1 million ahead of nearly every other Pac-12 head coach, and that coach -- Chris Petersen -- is no longer in the conference.

-- Tucker's salary pool will be $6 million, $1.1 million more than what Michigan State provided Dantonio.

-- In total, Michigan State will pay $11.5 million to employ Tucker and his 10 on-the-field assistants, an increase from the $9.2 million the school paid for the same 11 spots just over one week ago.

-- Leverage is hell of a hammer to swing if you can find it.

-- Tucker would owe Michigan State $6 million should he leave before Jan. 15, 2021. That figure drops to $2.5 million the following year, then drops $500,000 a year to a baseline of $1 million.

-- If fired without cause, Michigan State would owe Tucker 85 percent of his remaining contract less "non-performance related compensation."

-- If Michigan State is sanctioned by the NCAA for violations by the previous coaching staff -- and Curtis Blackwell's attorneys alleged Dantonio committed violations, though Dantonio denies them -- Tucker's contract will be extended by a year as of the date the sanctions take effect. If Michigan State is sanctioned for, say, three years, Tucker nets a 3-year extension.

-- Tucker's bonuses range from $25,000 for winning Big Ten coach of the year to $375,000 for a national title.

-- Among his fringe benefits, Tucker is provided a $2 million term life insurance policy and 25 hours annually of personal private plane travel.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.