Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks saw their 2020-21 season sputter to an end in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The team suffered its worst tournament loss ever, an 85-51 beatdown at the hands of the USC Trojans. But that didn't stop the Jayhawks from doubling down on Self — potentially forever.
The day before the Final Four, Kansas announced it had restructured Self's deal. In theory, it's a lifetime contract. In practice, it's a five-year rolling agreement that automatically adds one year when each season ends. As long as Kansas continues to perform at a high level, Self will remain in charge.
The timing of the deal was curious. Beyond the announcement in the shadow of the Final Four, it came on the same day Arizona fired Sean Miller. And the Jayhawks were still without an athletic director, so it seemed a bit odd they'd re-sign their coach first (the Jayhawks have since signed former Northwestern administrator Travis Goff to the AD position).
Kansas has also been under investigation for more than three years as a result of the FBI basketball scandal from September 2017. The university is charged with five Level I violations that the NCAA has deemed "egregious" and "severe." But the university isn't swayed and has put its support behind Self.
Kansas shared a redacted version of the contract, and it contains a few interesting elements. For every year beyond the initial five, Self will get a $2.5 million retention bonus. And the $7.2 million he's already owed from his old deal will be paid out over the next six years.
He can also earn up to $775,000 in incentives each season. He'll make $25,000 if Kansas wins the Big 12 Tournament, $50,000 if Kansas wins the Big 12 regular season, $50,000 for making the NCAA Tournament, $100,000 if he wins Coach of the Year, and $100,000, $150,000, and $200,000 for reaching the Sweet 16, Final Four, and winning the national championship, respectively.
If the Jayhawks decide to fire Self at any point, they would only owe him one year's salary of $5.41 million.
The 58-year-old has coached the Jayhawks for 18 seasons. Kansas won the title in 2008 and has won the Big 12 title 15 times during Self's tenure. He joins Kentucky's John Calipari as men's basketball coaches who have signed lifetime deals with their schools. Calipari and Kentucky agreed to a lifetime contract in April of 2019.