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Civic Skinny

March 8, 2012
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Ferent$ vs. Rhoad$. And an irate letter to the Bishop.

Iowa State University officials and football coach Paul Rhoads finally signed the coach’s new contract the other day and sent it out to anyone who asked. Cityview asked.

How does the coach’s deal compare with that of the University of Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz?

Here’s how:


In the 2012-2013 year, Rhoads gets a base of $375,000 a year, and that will remain the base through 2021, when the contract expires. Ferentz gets a base in the coming year of $1,970,000, and that will increase to $2,070,000 from 2014 until Jan. 31, 2020, when his contract expires. Each gets the usual benefits of a university employee. Virtually all university employees are in the TIAA-CREF retirement system, and at the moment the schools annually contribute 10 percent of an employee’s salary to the fund; the employee can add another 5 percent. That means that Iowa State is locked into a $37,500 pension contribution while Iowa is putting in roughly $200,000 a year.


Rhoads is guaranteed another $1,225,000 a year in extra pay this year, and that number will go up $100,000 each year of his contract — to $2,100,000 by the end of his contract. Rhoads also gets “retention payments” of $300,000 if he’s still employed in 2015 and another $300,000 if he’s still employed on March 1, 2018. Ferentz gets $1,480,000 each year in extra pay, and an additional amount — a longevity bonus — of $375,000 this year, $425,000 next year, $475,000 in 2014 and $525,000 every year after that.

So, regardless of how their teams are performing, in the year 2018 Rhoads is guaranteed pay of at least $2.5 million. In that same year — and even if his team doesn’t win a game — Ferentz is guaranteed at least $4,075,000.


Rhoads gets $200,000 a year extra in any year that the Cyclones win seven or more regular-season football games. Ferentz has no such deal. Rhoads gets $250,000 every time Iowa State wins or ties for the Big 12 title, $100,000 every time he takes the team to a bowl game and another $100,000 every time the team finishes in the top 25 in the final USA Today or Associated Press poll. He would get $250,000 if Iowa State won the national championship game and $25,000 if he is named the Big 12 Coach of the Year or the National Coach of the Year. Ferentz gets $1 million if Iowa is the national champion, $500,000 if it’s the runner-up, $350,000 if it’s in the top five, $250,000 in the top 10, $175,000 in the top 15, $150,000 in the top 20 and $125,000 in the top 25. He also gets $250,000 if the Hawkeyes win the Big Ten title and $175,000 if they tie for it. He gets $100,000 for going to any bowl and $250,000 if it’s a Bowl Championship Series bowl. He gets $50,000 if he’s the Big Ten Coach of the Year and $100,000 if he wins any of at least 14 national coaching awards.


Ferentz gets $100,000 each year the graduation rate is more than 70 percent. The contract doesn’t say, but presumably that’s a six-year graduation rate. There’s no such clause in Rhoads’ contract.


Ferentz’ contract provides for annual raises in the base pay of his assistants ranging from 8 percent (in any season when the Hawkeyes win six games and go to a bowl) up a sliding scale to 20 percent if they are national champions. The assistants also get bonuses of one month’s salary if Iowa goes to any bowl game, 1.75 month’s salary if it’s a major bowl, 2.5 months’ salary if it’s the Rose Bowl or any other BCS bowl, and three months’ salary if it’s the national championship game. They also get a month’s salary if Iowa wins the Big 10. There’s also a bonus pool of up to $200,000 the assistants can share if the team ends up nationally ranked. There are no guarantees for the assistants in Rhoads’ contract.


Ferentz gets two, Rhoads gets one. Ferentz also gets personal use of a private jet for 35 hours a year. Rhoads walks.


Each coach can be fired for cause. “Cause” does not include having a string of losing teams or, in the words of Rhoads’ contact, “win-loss record or public unhappiness with win-loss record.” If Ferentz is fired for other than cause, he gets 75 percent of the annual guaranteed amount of compensation for each year remaining in the contract. If Rhoads is fired without cause, he collects $750,000 for each year remaining in his contract plus the two $300,000 retention payments if they haven’t already been paid.


Ferentz apparently can walk away from his job at any time, with no penalty. The contract does not even address the issue. Rhoads can walk away, but at a price. If he left to be head coach at another Division I school or an NFL team, he’d have to reimburse the university any money it owed on the contracts of any assistant coach who left or was fired when he left, up to a maximum of $1 million.

Steve Leath, the new president of Iowa State University, makes $515,000 a year. Sally Mason, the president of the University of Iowa, makes about the same. ...

Charles Lavorato is a lawyer and Catholic, and, he says, “I truly respect and attempt to follow the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. It is a beautiful religion; its teachings are tolerant and truly reflect Christ’s edict to love your fellow man as yourself. No one can challenge the good the Church does around the world.”

Still, he just sent a long and blistering email to Bishop Richard E. Pates, objecting to remarks from the pulpit by St. Anthony Church Vicar Guthrie Dolan and to a pastoral letter from Pates about the birth-control/insurance fight now raging, a letter in which Pates refers to birth-control as immoral.

Some excerpts:

“I find it curious that a bunch of white men who have no concept of married life or what it takes to raise children think they have the right to tell families what is right or wrong in a sphere they know nothing about. How many kids are enough — 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7....? Do you have any concept about the costs of raising and educating children? Tell you what, put your money where your mouth is — write another pastoral letter letting your flock know that no matter how many children they produce, the Des Moines Diocese stands ready, willing and able to provide financial assistance to rear and educate those children; those who cannot afford to attend Dowling Catholic or Council Bluffs St. Albert, can attend free of charge, no strings attached — no matter how many children are in the family. You can talk the talk, but will you walk the walk?”


“The mendacity shown in your pastoral letter is breathtaking. Sir I challenge you to tell the truth; if you want to debate the matter, fine — but do it with facts and not fairy tales. I find it appalling that you would use your moral authority to scare and to fill with guilt truly devout and sincere Catholics….

“Finally, and this is not a threat, but a fact, the next time young Mr. Dolan starts to preach politics as opposed to religion, I will file a complaint with the IRS contesting the tax exempt status of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and the Diocese of Des Moines. I might fail, but the ensuing bad publicity is something you may want to avoid — given the Church’s preoccupation with not scandalizing the faithful (e.g. Not reporting clergy sex abuse to keep it out of the news).” …

Moving right along...

Exclusive!!! (If it’s right. Forget you read it here if it’s wrong.) Two real-estate people, who usually know what they’re talking about, tell Skinny that The Des Moines Register is looking hard at moving its operations a block-and-a-half east, to the now-empty Ruan 2 building. ...

Another exclusive!!!! (Maybe, unless it was in the Register and we missed it.) Lou and Heather, late of KGGO radio, are taking their act to TV. They’ll be on KCWI-23 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays. Or so a guy tells Skinny. . .

Back to coaches. Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg this week was named co-coach of the year for the Big 12, but his contract gives him nothing for that. But he’ll get $25,000 if Iowa State goes to the NCAA and $25,000 for each game he wins in the NCAA tournament. Assuming… CV

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