Here is what UConn’s athletic director, Warde Manuel, has to say about the renegotiation process that led to today’s announcement regarding Coach Auriemma’s new five-year, $10.8 million deal:
“It was very hard to compare Geno’s situation to the market [for women's basketball coaches]. But we wanted to make sure what we did, and do it for all of our coaches, was to reward for success. And there is no doubt that Geno has been very successful – by all measures. So in looking things, such as percentage of increase and such, we took it all into consideration and put forth an offer to him that was the product of how we viewed that success, not only on the court, but to the university and the athletic department.
“It’s hard to discern how his salary relates to the amount of income his program and his efforts help generate for the university. But from what we can tell, we are one of the top revenue generators, if not the best, in women’s basketball. So on top of the goodwill and positive attributes he brings to the department and university, he also helps us generate revenue in many ways.
“There’s also a lot that women’s basketball does for the university that doesn’t result in direct revenue. We are the only women’s team in the nation with its own television deal [SNY]. He brings consistency, success and many other positive things to UConn. He’s been in 20 straight Sweet 16s. That’s a remarkable achievement.
“Many of our fans have come to expect and believe that its just what happens. For many of our students, its all that they’ve known in their lifetimes. From my perspective, he brings more to the table from a financial standpoint than we may even be providing [him] because of what he does for us in development and promotional activities.”
Manuel said the negotiating process, which began before the Paradise Jam Tournament in November, was beyond amicable.
“Geno and his attorney [Sol Kerensky] were great to deal with through this entire process,” Manuel said. “It’s not easy to go through everything, but it was very relaxed. I don’t think any of us ever viewed it as more than a conversation, certainly not a hard-charging negotiation.
“I always take these [negotiations] seriously in how we approach things. There is always a back-and-forth and eventually you reach an understanding and ultimately come out with a contract.”