Texas Tech athletics director
Kirby Hocutt has a $545,900 base salary. As a practical matter, it's about $65,000 higher than that.
While some major-college ADs have contracts that make no mention of incentive bonuses, Hocutt is among a group whose agreements include bonuses for reaching goals that are regularly achieved by their programs. For example, Texas' DeLoss Dodds can get $62,500 annually if the athletics program operates "with financial solvency," which seems a safe bet in a department that had more than $160 million in revenue in 2011-12.
Other ADs have contracts under which their bonuses are determined in part, or in whole, at the discretion of their school presidents.
In the case of at least one of those ADs, Virginia's Craig Littlepage, positive annual evaluations have resulted in him receiving at least some bonus money in each of his 11 years on the job.
When Hocutt left Miami (Fla.) for Texas Tech early in 2011, he received a deal under which he can get an array of bonuses. One is a payment equal to 6% of his base salary if the football team participates in a non-Bowl Championship Series bowl game and another in the same amount if any of 13 specified non-revenue teams "qualify for NCAA postseason competition."
At the time the contract began, Texas Tech's football team had played in a bowl game in 11 consecutive seasons and its men's or women's track and field programs had competed in the NCAA indoor or outdoor championships every year since 1997. That meant Hocutt walked in the door knowing he had an excellent chance of adding at least 12% to his compensation every year.
Hocutt declined to comment through an e-mail from athletics department spokesman Blayne Beal that read, in part, "Kirby doesn't feel comfortable discussing his salary publicly."
However, the Texas Tech football team's streak of bowl appearances ended in the 2011 season.
But the team again played in a bowl game in 2012; the track and field programs' streak has remained intact, and Hocutt has so many other bonuses available that his contract also includes a provision capping his bonus pay for any one contract year at $150,000.
Some of the bonuses will be hard to reach, such as the 5% of base salary if the average paid attendance for home football, men's basketball or women's basketball averages at least 95% of paid seating capacity.
The average home football attendance this past season was a school-record 57,208 -- but that still fell short of the 57,431 required for the bonus.
Like Hocutt, Kansas State AD John Currie has so many opportunities for bonuses that his potential earnings are capped.
According to Currie's deal, anytime a Kansas State head coach earns a bonus "based upon athletic-related accomplishments," Currie receives a bonus equal to 75% of the bonus paid to the head coach.
Currie is limited, in any one contract year, to bonuses totaling 55% of his base salary, which is $450,000.
South Florida's Doug Woolard has a similar arrangement, only without the limits. They were removed in June 2012 by university President Judy Genshaft, who also is a member of the NCAA Division I board of directors -- the group of college CEOs that governs college sports' top competitive classification.
In a letter offering Woolard a three-year contract extension, Genshaft wrote that she also was providing additional annual performance incentives "to demonstrate my intent and desire for success."
Woolard, who had been limited to $30,000 a year in bonuses during his first eight years at the school, now is eligible for bonuses "in equal and cumulative amounts to the performance incentives which are earned and paid to the head coaches according to those respective employment agreements."
South Florida's head coaches have incentives totaling almost $2.5 million.
Among those at the less-precise end of the bonus spectrum is Virginia's Littlepage.
Littlepage, in his 12th year as Virginia's AD, is employed under a one-page letter from university President Teresa A. Sullivan that is dated Dec. 20, 2012, and does not include an expiration date, although, according to university spokesman Lorenzo Perez, the current contract renewal date is Aug. 24, 2013.
The letter lists Littlepage's basic compensation -- $582,750, including a $375,000 base salary -- and outlines a possible $100,000 annual performance bonus "based on criteria to be determined but to include" a series of five general areas, ranging from leadership to academic success to rules compliance.
Perez said Littlepage's bonus maximum had been $75,000 annually until November 2011 and the year-to-year amounts that Littlepage has received as a bonus were not available.
"(But) Mr. Littlepage has consistently received highly favorable performance ratings," Perez said. "During his tenure, he has not received the full potential performance bonus in any year, which is customary for performance bonuses at the University. It is accurate to state, however, that Littlepage routinely has received each year some portion of the performance bonuses spelled out in his contract."