UK Men's Basketball

Calipari's assistants get academic incentives

The University of Kentucky granted new basketball coach John Calipari's wish that academic-oriented bonus incentives be included in his assistant coaches' contracts.

Copies of contracts for assistants John Robic and Orlando Antigua, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act, include bonuses of $2,500 if the team has a Academic Progress Rating of 950 or better and another $2,500 should the team graduation rate be 75 percent or better.

"He felt that was important," UK Deputy Director of Athletics Rob Mullens said of Calipari's request.

Calipari's contract includes bonuses of $50,000 for each of those academic categories.

Robic and Antigua had academic-oriented bonuses in their contracts at Memphis. That bonus was tied to an on-court incentive. The school was contractually obligated to pay each $10,000 if the team achieved a APR of 925 or better and if the team won 74 percent of its regular-season games.

Robic and Antigua got pay increases of 19 and 38 percent in moving from Memphis to Kentucky. Robic's base salary increased from $185,000 to $220,000. Antigua's pay rose from $145,000 to $200,000.

Mullens cited a "survey of the marketplace" as the reason for the increase.

Their counterparts on Billy Gillispie's UK staff, Jeremy Cox and Glynn Cyprien, were paid $160,000 and $200,000 respectively.

As with Cox and Cyprien, Robic and Antigua will be entitled to four home basketball game tickets and two home football game tickets.

The new staff also has more chances for bonus pay tied to on-court achievement. Cyprien and Cox received a single bonus of $17,000 and $14,000 when UK made the NCAA Tournament.

The contracts for Robic and Antigua call for a bonus of $2,500 should Kentucky win the SEC Eastern Division, another $2,500 if UK wins the league's regular-season championship, one month's salary should the Cats receive a NCAA Tournament bid and two months salary if the team advances to the Final Four.

UK in top 10

UK's basketball program was among schools recognized by the NCAA Wednesday for academic success.

The NCAA announced the programs that finished in the top 10 in each sport for Academic Progress Rate. The APR measures classroom achievement through eligibility standards, retention and graduation rates. The time frame involved begins with the 2004-05 school year and runs through 2007-08.

The NCAA requires an APR of 925. The top 10 programs had an APR from 976 to a perfect 1,000.

Kentucky was not the only traditional basketball power to be listed by the NCAA.

Other schools include three of this year's Final Four participants (North Carolina, Michigan State and Villanova), plus Duke and Kansas.

UK basketball was the school's only team to make the top 10 in its sport.

Only one football team from a BCS conference made the top 10: Duke.

Eleven basketball teams from a major conference made the top 10: Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Texas and Villanova.

SEC honor roll

Jodie Meeks and four teammates from Kentucky's men's basketball team made the 2008-09 Southeastern Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll.

For Meeks, this marks the third straight year he's made the SEC honor roll. He's a pre-marketing major.

A total of 45 UK athletes — second most in the league — were named to the SEC honor roll. Alabama had the most athletes on the honor roll with 48. The breakdown of UK athletes on the honor roll were 13 from men's swimming, 12 from women's swimming, seven from gymnastics, five each from men's basketball and rifle and three from women's basketball.

Besides Meeks, other UK basketball players on the honor roll were guard Michael Porter (management major) and walk-ons Mark Krebs (management), Dwight Perry (management) and Matt Scherbenske (management).