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Saturday, October 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  NCAA football

Norman Chad: Let’s offer performance incentives to authentic winners

New Maryland head football coach Mike Locksley speaks at a  news conference  Dec. 6  in College Park, Md. (Patrick Semansky / AP)
New Maryland head football coach Mike Locksley speaks at a news conference Dec. 6 in College Park, Md. (Patrick Semansky / AP)
By Norman Chad Syndicated columnist

My once-and-always misguided alma mater, the University of Maryland, was celebrated this month for hiring Michael Locksley to helm its out-of-control football program.

I do not share in the celebration.

His 3-31 career coaching record does not concern me. Rather, I take pause because of the sexual harassment and age discrimination claim he faced at New Mexico. He also physically assaulted an assistant coach and confronted a student reporter in a bar after a negative article. Plus Locksley spent the last three years working for Nick Saban at Alabama, which gives him the worldview of a pylon.

Ah, but he can recruit!

Maryland, like most universities running a big-time athletic program, needs a cleansing, yet has predictably chosen to take in some dirty laundry to continue its low-minded pursuit of gridiron glory.

(I continue to be embarrassed for and embarrassed by College Park. Then again, I believe College Park is embarrassed for and embarrassed by me.)

So, what does a 3-31 record and a checkered past buy you these days?

Locksley got a five-year deal that starts at $2.5 million annually and increases by $100,000 each year.

And that’s before we get to the array of performance incentives.

According to The Washington Post, here are the bonuses – which could total an additional $775,000 – Locksley can earn:

If he is named Big Ten coach of the year, $25,000; if he is the Associated Press national coach of the year, $50,000.

If Maryland plays in the Big Ten championship game, $100,000; if the team wins it, another $50,000.

If Maryland makes a bowl game, $50,000; if it wins, another $35,000.

If Maryland makes a New Year’s Six bowl game, $100,000; if it wins, another $75,000.

If Maryland gets a College Football Playoff berth, $200,000; another $100,000 if it makes the national championship game and $250,000 if its win the national title.

(These might appear to be overwhelmingly unachievable incentives for a 3-31 coach, but like most Terps, I am optimistic!)

In my Utopian dream of a post-student-athlete America, I wonder if we can change priorities and offer the academic arm at our higher-education institutions – you know, the purported reasons these schools exist – similar performance incentives.

Bonuses for an engineering professor:

Wins Nobel Prize for physics, $25,000.

Makes the cover of Mechanical Engineering magazine, $15,750.

Appears on “Jeopardy!”, $50,000; wins the entire week, another $50,000.

Designs artificial intelligence that passes the Turing test, $2,250.

Discovers evidence of dark matter using Large Hadron Collider, $2,250.

Gets consultant’s job at Boeing, Microsoft or NASA, $3,000.

Solves the McMullen problem on projectively transforming sets of points into convex position, $700.

Goes to dinner party and doesn’t bore guests to death with explanation of Schanuel’s conjecture on the transcendence degree of exponentials of linearly independent irrationals, $32,500.

Figures out way to access hallway bathroom at dentist’s appointment without needing to get the key from front desk, $100,000.

Bonuses for a journalism professor:

Wins Pulitzer Prize, $25,000; penalty for returned Pulitzer Prize, $35,000.

Publishes article in The New Yorker, $5,000; becomes staff writer there, $10,000.

Appears on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ESPN or MTV, $50,000; hosts own show, $75,000.

Brings down a presidency with old-fashioned gumshoe reporting, $175,000.

Writes investigative series that uncovers deep-rooted wrongdoing in athletic department, $37,500 plus two tickets to homecoming game.

Criticizes Brian Williams at broadcasting seminar, $10,000.

Goes to work for USA Today, $50,000 deduction in pay and immediate loss of tenure.

Creates business model that saves print newspapers, $1.25 million.

Ask The Slouch

Q. The Women’s Tennis Association just relaxed attire rules, now allowing women to wear more tight-fitting outfits. Is this an attempt to increase offense in an otherwise low-scoring match? (Mitchell Shapiro; Rockville, Maryland)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. In reality, are Native Americans opposed to the R*dsk*ns moniker because the team’s record is insulting to Native Americans? (Brian Hoard; Charlottesville, Virginia)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. If Urban Meyer teaches a “character and leadership” course at Ohio State, will Rick Pitino be able to audit it from Greece? (Mike Soper; Washington, D.C.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. The mute button on my TV remote broke from excessive use. Who should be responsible for replacement, my cable provider or ESPN? (Mark Ellison; Charlottesville, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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