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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Locksley contract incentives questionable

By Heather Dinich

Maryland is practically writing its own book of bad business decisions.

Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley’s contract, which includes some of the most absurd incentives I’ve ever heard of, is the latest eyebrow-raising move by athletic director Kevin Anderson.

You would think that a $500k salary and a need to shake the ghosts of the past would be enough motivation for Locksley to succeed in College Park as both a coordinator and a recruiter. Oh no. Anderson took it even further:

Incentive: Locksley will receive $25,000 if Maryland is in the top 40 of the Rivals.com or Scout.com rankings on signing day. He also will receive $20,000 if the Terps rank among the top four teams in the ACC on signing day.

Problem: This is an embarrassing endorsement of fan-based recruiting services which coaches repeatedly, emphatically insist they do not pay attention to -- nor should they. Coaches should be trusting their own evaluations, not the star systems of others. This encourages the opposite. Not only that, but if Maryland isn’t bringing in top 40 classes -- regardless of the recruiting service -- there’s a problem. Add to that the danger of dangling thousands in front of a coach who is already immersed in the sketchy business of recruiting, and there’s even more temptation for the recruiter to break the rules. Here’s an idea: How about just giving Locksley a bonus for each recruiting class that sticks around long enough to graduate and finish in the Associated Press Top 25?

Incentive: Locksley will receive $15,000 each time Maryland finishes in the top four in the ACC in total offense and scoring offense, and an additional $10,000 if the Terps lead the conference in either category.

Problem: Poor William & Mary. Talk about incentive to run up the score on the little guys in the nonconference schedule, or to pull a West Virginia and keep throwing in the end zone when you’re up six touchdowns or so. Isn’t this what Locksley’s salary is for? Isn’t this what he’s getting paid to do? Score points??

Here's the kicker ... all of that money and those incentives completely trump the maximum of $5,000 Locksley would receive if the graduation success rate is greater than or equal to 85 percent. It's more than the $5,000 max he would get if the APR is greater than or equal to .950. Lead the ACC in total offense, though, and Locksley just got $25k richer.

Unlike former offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, who was fired after just one season, you better believe this contract was actually signed. And don’t be surprised if Anderson winds up paying for it.