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Bowl Eligibility Marks the Beginning of Bonus Season for Coaches

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USA TODAY
October 10, 2013 Thursday
FA CHASE EDITION
SPORTS; Pg. 1C
306 words
College football bonus season commences;
Bowl-eligible teams start racking up cash for coaches
Steve Berkowitz, @ByBerkowitz, USA TODAY Sports

College football's bowl season is more than two months away, but the start of the bowl bonus season begins today.

That's when Louisville can claim its sixth regular-season victory and become eligible for postseason play. The subsequent bowl bid will give coach Charlie Strong a $308,333 bonus (one-twelfth of his $3.7million in annual pay from the school).

Strong and the eighth-ranked Cardinals are aiming much higher -- as are many other head coaches, assistants and athletics directors whose on-field performance incentives begin with bonuses for teams making any bowl game and increase with the accomplishment of greater goals.

More than a dozen teams can join Ohio State among the ranks of the bowl eligible this week. It's a relatively modest achievement for many top-level programs, given that more than half of the Bowl Subdivision's 125 teams will participate in the cavalcade of 35 bowl games. But it pays off.

At Virginia Tech, participation in a bowl game means bonuses of $42,500 for coach Frank Beamer and 1½ months' pay for athletics director Jim Weaver (nearly $60,000). For Beamer's coaching staff, it not only means bonuses this season ranging from $15,000 for assistants to $45,000 for coordinators but also enhanced pay raises next season. LSU coach Les Miles will get $100,000 for any bowl appearance; Michigan's Brady Hoke collects $85,000.

Ohio State has set the bar higher for Urban Meyer, who will have to lead his team to the Big Ten Conference Leaders Division title to begin qualifying for on-field incentives.

Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson can position himself for a $10,000 bowl payment with a win Saturday vs. Mississippi State that would include an added sweetener: the $5,000 payment he receives for winning a game against a team from the Southeastern, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 or Atlantic Coast conferences.

October 10, 2013

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