COLUMBUS — Every time an Ohio State individual athlete or team wins a national title — in track, swimming, fencing, rifle, pistol or any of 24 other non-revenue sports — athletic director Gene Smith will receive a bonus of $18,000 to $36,000 under terms of the new contract extension announced earlier this week.
As one of the highest-paid ADs, Smith will make a base salary of $940,484 and could earn more than $1.5 million a year in salary and bonuses under the pact that runs through June 2020. His previous base salary was $857,000 with a total of $1.3 million.
While it’s typical for top programs to give bonuses for the success of revenue-producing sports, it’s not always standard to provide bonuses for non-revenue sports.
If the Buckeyes football team plays in a major bowl game or the men’s or women’s basketball teams make it to the Final Four, Smith will receive four times his weekly base salary, or more than $72,000. Should the football team or men’s basketball team go on to win the national championship, Smith would receive an additional $36,000.
Smith also was given the new title of university vice president and has oversight of Ohio State’s facilities, marketing and branding. Ohio State’s trustees will vote Friday on Smith’s promotion and new contract.
The contract specifies a $36,000 bonus for any NCAA championship won by men’s teams in baseball, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball along with women’s teams in field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball and volleyball.
He would receive an $18,000 bonus if any Ohio State athlete wins an individual national championship — say, a weight class in wrestling, a sprint in track or a relay in swimming. The sports involved include men’s swimming, tennis, cross country, track, diving, fencing, golf, wrestling and gymnastics, women’s cross country, track, diving, swimming, fencing, synchronized swimming, golf, gymnastics and tennis, along with the co-ed sports of rifle and pistol.
Any team that wins a Big Ten title — outright, a co-championship or even a conference tournament title — results in Smith getting a $36,000 bonus. The total he can be paid under this part of the contract in any academic year is $120,000.
There are also bonuses for academic achievements by the football and men’s basketball teams.
If Smith remains as AD through June of 2020, he will receive annual payments of more than $62,000, a yearly “longevity bonus.”
The contract also calls for Smith to get up to 15 hours per year in business use of a private jet. Smith also receives $1,200 a month for two cars, payment of his wife’s travel expenses to away athletic events, a family membership at a local country club and a full membership at the University Faculty Club — along with full benefits and university-wide salary percentage increases each contract year.