Friday, April 2, 2021

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self signs lifetime contract extension with KU

Kansas head coach Bill Self slaps hands with the fans following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self slaps hands with the fans following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self has signed what was described by KU as "a lifetime contract" to remain the head coach of the Jayhawks, the school announced Friday morning.

According to a news release put out by Kansas Athletics at 10 a.m. Friday, Self's current contract, which was to expire after the end of the 2021-22 season, has been replaced by a rolling five-year contract worth $5.41 million per year that automatically adds a year to the end after the conclusion of each season for the remainder of his career.

The new contract features several references to Big 12 and NCAA violations, including a clause that specifically outlines that KU "will not terminate Head Coach for cause due to any current infractions matter that involves conduct that occurred on or prior to the date of full execution of this Agreement."

The contract was signed by Self and Girod on March 31 and by Watson on April 1.

In the same section, labeled "Current Infractions Case," the contract language spells out that if Self is suspended by the NCAA or Big 12 "as a result of the pending NCAA infractions matter," Self would forfeit 50% of his salary during the time of the suspension.

In addition, the contract states that Self has agreed to "indemnify" KU, Athletics and the Kansas Board of Regents for 50% of the costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees, brought about by the infractions case up to 20% of his annual compensation.

There also is a section in the contract labeled "NCAA and/or Big 12 violations" that outlines the following:

• If KU, Athletics, the Big 12 Conference or the NCAA determines that Self has violated NCAA or Big 12 regulations, or willfully and knowingly permitted any other person under his direct control or supervision to commit an NCAA or Big 12 violation, Self agrees that he shall be subject to disciplinary or corrective action.

• Self agrees that if he is found by KU, Athletics, the Big 12 or NCAA to be involved in significant or repetitive or intentional violations of NCAA regulations, whether while employed at KU or during prior employment, he may be suspended without pay for a period of time and/or his employment may be terminated for cause.

• Self further agrees that he shall report promptly to the AD and KU's compliance department any known KU, Big 12 or NCAA rules violations.

The announcement of the extension by KU Chancellor Douglas Girod was accompanied by a photo of Self, pen in hand, sitting with interim athletic director Kurt Watson with the contract on the table in front of them.

"I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Chancellor Girod, Kurt Watson and the rest of the leadership at KU for their belief and faith in me to provide this lifetime contract," Self, 58, said in the release. "Every day, I am reminded just how fortunate I am to lead this storied program and there truly is no place else I would rather be."

The new contract for Self comes as the newly formed Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) continues to review the NCAA's infractions case against Self and the KU men's basketball program stemming from the recent FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball recruiting.

There is no timeline for a resolution, but Self has said in recent weeks that he's hopeful the outcome will be known by late summer or early fall. KU has supported and stood strongly behind Self throughout the process that included KU receiving a notice of allegations for five Level 1 violations, including the tag of lack of institutional control and a charge of head coach responsibility.

"As we continue to work through the challenges facing our program, we look forward to moving ahead and focusing on our bright future," Self said in the release announcing the contract extension. "I would also like to express my gratitude to our alumni and donors, as well as the best fans and students in the nation, that have supported my family and me for the past 18 seasons. I’m excited to remain your basketball coach and compete for many championships in the future.”

Added Girod in the release: “For almost 20 years, Coach Self has embodied the spirit and tradition of the University of Kansas, leading our men’s basketball program to a national championship, 15 Big 12 titles and 17 NCAA Tournament appearances. We believe in Coach Self and we believe in the future of our program under his leadership, and we are thrilled that he will continue to be a Jayhawk for the rest of his coaching career.”

Other noteworthy entries in Self's lifetime contract include:

• Self's buyout, if terminated without cause, would be one year's salary ($5.41 million) plus a prorated amount of the annual $2.435 million retention bonus payable each year on the anniversary of the new contract.

• If terminated for cause, Kansas Athletics would owe Self his annual salary up to the time of termination plus a prorated share of the retention bonus he would have earned.

• Cause, as outlined by the contract, includes, among other things, misconduct in the areas of serious criminal conduct, conduct that is inconsistent with the professional standards expected of a head coach, major violations of NCAA or Big 12 rules, failure to promptly report any known violations and violation of Kansas Athletics' and/or KU's policies on discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

• If Self elects to leave KU for the NBA, he would owe Kansas Athletics a $2 million buyout, payable within 60 days of his acceptance of an NBA job.

• Self's contract also includes several incentive bonuses, including: $50,000 for a Big 12 regular season title, $25,000 for a Big 12 tournament title, $100,000 for Associated Press Coach of the Year honors, $50,000 for a postseason appearance, $100,000 for a Sweet 16 appearance, $150,000 for a Final Four appearance and $200,000 for an NCAA title.

• In light of the financial strain brought about by COVID-19, Self has agreed to delay payment of $7.2 million worth of past retention payments. That amount will now be paid in monthly installments of $100,000 over a seven-year period begin April 30, 2021.

In his 18 seasons leading the Jayhawks, Self has recorded a record of 522-118 for an .816 winning percentage.

That run includes one national championship (2008), three trips to the Final Four (2008, 2012, 2018), an NCAA-record 14 consecutive Big 12 regular season titles and a record inside Allen Fieldhouse of 277-15.

He was won multiple coach of the year honors and, in 2017, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

His overall coaching record, which includes stints at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois, is 729-223.

He has coached dozens of all-conference and All-American players at Kansas, put several lottery picks into the NBA draft and served as the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The announcement of Self's extension comes as KU continues to work through its search to find a new full-time athletic director.

Sources have indicated to the Journal-World that the interviews with finalists are being conducted and that the search could reach its end as soon as next week.

In the meantime, Watson has continued to handle the day-to-day business of running the department and after the 2020-21 season reached its end, he made Self's extension one of his top priorities.

"I have known Bill for many years, but working closely with him over the past few weeks in my current role has shown me even more so on a daily basis how deeply he cares about this program," Watson said in the release. "We are certainly proud that he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at KU in 1985 and that this new contract will ensure he finishes his coaching career here as well.”


Tony Bandle 1 year, 6 months ago

OH BOY...there's goes Brett's Easter Weekend Celebration!!!!!

Bob Zielinski 1 year, 6 months ago

Hopefully that means Brett also has a lifetime contract on this comment section. Doesn't pay jack but it will keep him busy and all of us up on the current nonsense circulating his mind. Sounds like a win-win for all of us, I can't wait.

Michael Maris 1 year, 6 months ago

@ Tony Bandle,

Your comment absolutely made MY day.

I guess Brett DOESN'T sign any Athletic Dept. payroll checks afterall.

Happy Easter to all believers.....

To the rest, celebrate in your Pagan ways.

Chris Bailey 1 year, 6 months ago

But he hasn't won a national championship since 2008. I mean he must be a terrible coach if he hasn't won at least 3 by now. I mean of the 350 declared Division 1 basketball programs you expect a championship at least once every few years especially if you're in the top 25 consistently. Wondering how many of those 350 schools would give anything to have the success Bill Self's teams have had over the last, nearly two decades? My guess is probably all but about 5. So yes, we should have done this. Self is a HOF coach for a reason and we should keep him as long as he wants to coach and is capable of doing the job, Brett be damned.

Brian Wilson 1 year, 6 months ago

Lifetime! Meaning 12 years or less. You have 12 years or less to win a few more Championships. Better get busy Bill, you're 58 and if you work til 20, as long as Roy, you have 12 years. RCJHKU!

Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 6 months ago

How can such a deal even be made with only an interm AD?

Seems like a bad move with the sandals and NCAA sanctions months away.

Either way, locking us in with an underperforming coach for next decade or more.

Tim Orel 1 year, 6 months ago

One additional item in the new contract - Bill Self can be fired for cause if he wears socks with his sandals. That would indeed be a scandal. Is that to what you're referring, Daniel?

Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 6 months ago

Yup, you caught me in a typo.

Seems I’m as good at proofreading as Self is at preparing his teams in March.

Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 6 months ago


Self is a perfectly adequate coach if you want a consistent top 15 program but not if you want to be a top 3 blue blood.

I guess is the fan base is really okay with continuing to be the worst of the bluebloods he’s our guy.

Heck, Florida and Villanova even have more titles during his KU tenure than Self does.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 6 months ago

Well said, Daniel. The article mentions that he has three Final Fours and one national title. And that's the problem. It's ONLY three Final Fours and ONLY one national title. With all the talented players and top seeds he has had over the course of his KU tenure, he should have SEVEN Final Fours and TWO if not THREE national titles. No coach in America does less with more when it matters most as consistently and as frequently as Coach Self.

Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 6 months ago

Or we don’t treat sports like we’re in a cult that demands blind and absolute devotion.

Robin Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

Yep, you are each free to think your identically stupid thoughts.

Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 6 months ago

So nothing to add but ad hominem attacks on those you disagree with? What a paragon of intelligence you must be.

Robin Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

Not attacking nor disagreeing -- just reporting :-)

Brian Skelly 1 year, 6 months ago

Curious about this. Clearly he's in charge of the athletic department... as he signed this deal without an AD around.

Something like this has to have been in the works for awhile.

How old is Self again? Didn't he say he wasnt going to coach into his mid to late 60s?

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

Interesting timing right after the SCOTUS schooled the NCAA. Big changes are coming to collegiate basketball and nobody is better suited than Bill Self to lead the program into this new era.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

Justice Brett Kavanaugh: “It does seem … the schools are conspiring with competitors, agreeing with competitors, to pay no salaries to the workers who are making the schools billions of dollars on the theory that consumers want the schools to pay their workers nothing. And that just seems entirely circular and even somehwat disturbing...Antitrust laws should not be a cover for exploitation of the student-athletes,”

Justice Elena Kagan: “You can only ride on the history, Mr. Waxman, for so long... I guess it doesn’t move me all that much that there’s a history to this, if what is going on now is that competitors, as to labor, are combining to fix prices.”

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 6 months ago

He technically finished Number 1 in 2 final polls.

I'm a big believer in hanging the banner. Only 1 team is the AP ranked 1 in the final pole of 2020. All games have been played and only one team is at top. We have 2 banners up in our fieldhouse that are basically the same thing.

Layne Pierce 1 year, 6 months ago

I love Bill Self, but there is a question of timing, and why such a decision and commitment would be made without a new AD.

Also, there is the question of whether this was done, so that the new AD does not have to deal with, making the job more attractive in some weird way.

I am also curious that there was no suspension of Self's right to sue the NCAA as an individual, while still on the university payroll.

Does this agreement portend that the university already knows it is going to turn out bad with the special NCAA oversight committee that has final say?


Chris Teegarden 1 year, 6 months ago

I got the idea while reading the excerpts of the contract above that it has a lot to do with the NCAA investigation and this is the University showing it's standing by their man. I kind of got the feeling that some of the way it's structured is to help him if he sues the NCAA. He can easily show loss of income the way this is setup if he were to get suspended and want to sue.

Brian Wilson 1 year, 6 months ago

Exactly. Spot on. Exactly the way I interpreted it as well

All contracts should read the same way and now the cat is out of the bag my guess is this will set a trend. IMO, your point deserves greater attention.

J.L. Forge 1 year, 6 months ago

It was probably already in the works regardless and they were never going to let him go anyhow. The President puts the ink on the contract so in this case, no AD needed! For almost 20 years HCBS has been the model of consistency in a incredibly competitive sport. This just solidifies that the school has and will continue to stand behind and support Coach Self.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 6 months ago

Coach Self is consistent in two areas: (1) Regular-season glory and (2) postseason underachievement.

J.L. Forge 1 year, 6 months ago

And hundreds of programs across America would be thrilled to come within sniffing distance of the kind of success the Jayhawks have enjoyed.

Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 6 months ago

Since when do we compare ourselves to what mediocre programs would accept?

Buck Bukaty 1 year, 6 months ago

If the NCAA had a mascot it would be the Albatross. Until their Albatross is removed from around our necks we have to work smart to build as best we can considering the competition. To me this negotiation reinvigorates our support that the current investigations are bogus #2-droppings, and a needle in the Albatross' eye.

Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 6 months ago

Long live hi-low! Long live low-post! Long live grind-it-out game!

Matt Gauntt 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm loving the fact that the chicken-little's that scream everytime we lose one single game are so triggered today. LOL

Feel free to become a K-State fan if you don't like Coach Self.

Keith Gellar 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree with the poster above abt the timing. It's as if the emperor just appointed him self a never ending term. I had posted few weeks ago that Bill self should become the AD. Looks like he's already making AD decisions.

Lastly... anytime I hear lifetime contacts, it re minds me of the government where people get too comfortable, perform below par and cannot be fired.

J.L. Forge 1 year, 6 months ago

I believe there are a number of schools who have similar contracts in place to ensure they do not lose extremely successful, consistent and popular coaches like Coach K, until yesterday Coach Roy, Coach Boeheim, Coach Izzo and others. AD or not, the rest of the school leadership up to the President would have approved this contract. This is a boost not only to help keep the coach happy, but to solidify recruiting efforts and put up a united front.

Brian Skelly 1 year, 6 months ago

Functionally Calapari has this same type of deal.

Bob Strawn 1 year, 6 months ago

No wonder Ku hasn't been able to hire an athletics director.

David Friend 1 year, 6 months ago

The timing also has to do with Chris Beards new contract (undisclosed at the moment). Self was not in the top 5 of coaching salaries and that I am sure was rectified today.

Bob Strawn 1 year, 6 months ago

Beard signed for 7-years at $5 million per annum.

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe it was a fear that people would try to pull RW out of retirement. Just as a reminder this is how RW had his contract before he left to UNC and is also how he had his contract at UNC. It basically makes it so you don't have to renew a contract every year or every 3 years to someone who is basically going to be here indefinitely.

There are so many clauses to get out of them, it really doesn't matter. And usually, if you are buying him out, you would only be paying 4 years, and that has some negotiations.

I personally think people are reading way too much into this contract, it probably has been in the works for a while, and with one year left it was the ideal time to renew it.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 6 months ago

Looks like KU has essentially doomed itself to not win another national championship until at least the 2040s. I guess the KU brass is okay with postseason underachievement and doesn't care if other blueblood programs leave the Jayhawks in the dust.

Len Shaffer 1 year, 6 months ago

Don't worry, Bryce, I've called the wambulance for you.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 6 months ago

Stupid in so many ways. As pointed out above, why are you signing contracts before hiring an AD? Here’s why; you have the milkiest milktoast chancellor in America.

And he is really stupid.

In the Bill Self era, we have one National Championship. To answer the dimwit above, that’s not good enough.

City league titles don’t interest me.

Epic, repeated beat downs in the tourney don’t interest me.

One title in three decades doesn’t interest me.

NCAA probations don’t interest me.

Things are getting real in Texas, in case you didn’t notice. That, at least, gets my attention.

Dave Girod hasn’t made a single smart decision since becoming chancellor but you think that somehow today is the day? Bob Frederick is literally turning in his grave.

Dr. Frederick hired Glen Mason and Roy Williams. He stared down the hypocrites in the gold domes. He ran an actual athletic department.

Dr. Girod hired an incompetent egomaniac, a creep, and upped the contract on a cheater. And people are celebrating? Which was better? The 0-9 football season, the 35-point loss to USC/Auburn/Villanova or the NCAA investigation?

What a sad day for Jayhawks. Because it’s so stupid. Toto, we are still in Kansas. Where dumb people do dumb things. Apparently, to the surprise of everyone.

Bill Self isn’t with it.

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 6 months ago

And RW won how many titles while he was at KU? Your hypocrisy is showing.

just to be clear I like RW, but your call to hire RW, just remember he didn't win a championship at KU.

Creg Bohrer 1 year, 6 months ago

Okay I'm in.. Who are we hiring to replace Self? Seriously if we get rid of Self who are we going after to replace him?

Chad Durbin 1 year, 6 months ago

Hear that......? That is the sound of Brett and Ted’s heads exploding!! Roflmao, I said give HCBS a raise.

Robin Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

Only losers could complain about the winningest coach in Kansas basketball history.

Creg Bohrer 1 year, 6 months ago

You know I wasn't going to comment but I just can't help myself.. To all the Self haters that are commenting on this.. Who we getting as our next coach after Self is fired? Maybe we can get Weber after he's fired at K-state?

Benjamin Shear 1 year, 6 months ago

Idk guys. I think we should keep our HOF coach, but Brett said we should fire him? Seems like we're taking a pretty big risk by not following Brett's, from's comment section, advice.

Creg Bohrer 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm all for listening to peoples advise.. But the advise given has zero solutions.

Pat Bell 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm remembering the year Roy Williams left KU. We lost a couple of games in the pre-season NIT tournament. Roy was besieged by angry letters and comments about how terrible a coach he was. I was in shock at how angry they were after all the pleadings with him to stay and the joy that he agreed to stay. Then the season continued and we ended up in the National Title game at the same time that North Carolina was begging him to come back there. I was really disappointed but not surprised that Roy turned his back on so many fickle fans (their loyalty didn't even last two years!) and headed back to North Carolina, where he finally won a championship. Let's not do the same thing to Self! He's given us a heck of a lot of good years, and I for one am definitely not ready to see him go.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

It’s funny that the reason Coach Self is seen as unsuccessful in March is because he’s so ridiculously successful the rest of the year. (That and ignorance) If he would just loose more and get a lower seed or miss the tourney altogether a few times, the performance in March would be overachieving.

Brian Mellor 1 year, 6 months ago

ESPN’s old comments section was really useful for identifying a couple of the posters here as people who only derive joy from sports in the act of thumping their chests to troll other teams’ fans. When you understand that, all their comments here make sense.

They’re broken people who it’s not worth debating with.

Mallory Briggans 1 year, 6 months ago

Switching gears a bit ..................For those interested in seeing 2 future Kansas commits Zach Clemence 2021 and Gradey Dick 2022 will being playing on ESPN today in Geico Nationals High Schooll championship Both go to Sunrise Christian . Watched them beat IMG academy and came away underwhelmed .Zach play was limited by foul trouble and Dick didnt do much ..........hopefully they will be more impressive today

11:00 Today ESPN

Trace Stark 1 year, 6 months ago

Glad, and Honored , to have coach Self.

Shannon Gustafson 1 year, 6 months ago

For all of you confused by this being done while there is no AD, did you forget that Self was also hired when there was no AD? That's right, the two best sports decisions made by KU in the last couple decades happened with no AD while a TON of horrible decisions have been made by incompetent AD's in that time.

Bryce, no matter how many times you say the same dumb $hit, it will never make it true. It makes you look truly pathetic to come back every few hours to comment on this article over and over with nothing new to add other than your pathetic whining about your false reality you've created in your head.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 6 months ago

Shannon..I made the same error. Brett hates Bill Self, Bryce hates Iowa State!!

Allin Herring 1 year, 6 months ago

Wow we are going to continue to pay Self when he is found guilty of cheating. Unbelievable! That is what is wrong with things today. No one is held accountable for what they do wrong. I am so tired of Selfs big blow ups in the early rounds of the tournament. Are we sure we can`t use the money we do not pay him when he is suspended and get him an NBA contract?..

Robert Brock 1 year, 6 months ago

There you have it, Folks - Allin Herring knows all the facts and His Honour has passed judgment. Soon, he will post the sentence.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 6 months ago

I can't think of one coach, not one, that I would want for KU over Coach Self.

Layne Pierce 1 year, 5 months ago

Roy Williams, the wonder coach, the good old boy, could not win a national championship at KU, Bill Self did. And I believe he will win another one in the next 5 years.

In spite of the fact that we pay enormous bribes our crooks are inefficient and we do not get the best players. I guess we need to keep coach Self, but get some better dirty money recruiters.

I wish we had a squeaky clean program like? Go ahead name one, Duke, please????? North Carolina, they just don't make players go to classes, not a big deal, at least not to the NCAA. Williamson ended up at Duke, but it's such a beautiful school. Please.

The fact is that KU's relationship with shoe companies is the same as every other school in the country. So if the NCAA doesn't like it, then ban it for every school. Put in new some new rules and regulations. But don't try to make KU the big sacrificial lamb, to say you're doing something, and just let everyone else continue doing it. Such hypocrisy is disgusting.


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