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Contract: Penn State Ponies Up Serious Money To Land VCU’s Rhoades

Mike Rhoades - VCU Athletics

At long last, Penn State found its replacement for Micah Shrewsberry, and it’s Virginia Commonwealth’s Mike Rhoades.

Rhoades, a Pennsylvania native, is no stranger to Penn State and the commonwealth as a whole, having played at Lebanon Valley College before starting his coaching career at Randolph-Macon in Virginia, where he spent time as assistant coach and head coach before becoming an assistant at VCU in 2009.

From there, Rhoades became the head coach at Rice and held that position until 2017. He returned to VCU that same year and did well enough to earn a contract extension in 2021 that tied him to the Rams until 2026-27.

Just a few years shy of that, Rhoades is now in Happy Valley for the foreseeable future, having inked a seven-year contract worth $3.4 million his first year then going up $100,000 each subsequent year for the entirety of his contract.

This type of financial backing and disclosure isn’t the norm for Penn State basketball. It shows a strong commitment in continuing the program’s recent success.

Here’s how the contract breaks down:

  • Rhoades will make $500,000 in base salary through the seven years on his deal
  • His supplemental pay will go up $100,000 each year after starting at $2.9 million in year-one
  • By 2029-2030, Rhoades will be making $4 million
  • His buyout starts at $15 million if he were to leave in 2023-2024. That buyout goes down by $3 million per year until 2028-2029 when it goes to $1.5 before ultimately no buyout if he were to leave in the last year of his contract

The extras:

  • For winning Big Ten Coach of the Year Rhodes gets $50,000
  • For winning National Coach of the Year it’ll be a $100,000 bonus
  • There will be another $150,000 for winning the Big Ten Regular Season Championship
  • If Penn State finishes in the top-5 of the Big Ten, Rhoades will get $50,000
  • If the Penn State win 10 or more conference games, there’s a $25,000 bonus
  • A Big Ten Tournament Championship nets Rhoades another $50,000
  • Should Penn State win 20+ games, it’s a $25,000 bonus
  • For each NIT appearance, Rhoades will make $15,000 and with each win in the tournament he gets $10,000
  • With each NCAA Tournament appearance, Rhoades gets $100,000 and another $75,000 for each win
  • He also gets a 2 dealer car/vehicle stipend plus 25 hours of private aircraft use, a ticket allowance and a relocation allowance

The contract incentives and features show Penn State means business, but will the NIL support be up to par is the next question to be answered for the Nittany Lions as Rhoades reconstructs the roster.

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