Chronicle series on athletics in time of budget crisis.

Fact Checker here.

Thank you for the illuminating series on the athletics budget. A damn good job!

I would like to augment with a comment on Coach K's salary and perks.

First the perks. Two years ago the university was forced to reveal (because of a federal law that provides for at least minimum transparency and accountability) that K has access to a private jet.

The VP for public affairs at the time, Burness, would answer no questions: what size jet for this is typically specified in employment contracts, if Duke owned it or leased it or what, who else has access to such a perk.

This was Duke to the core: no transparency, no accountability with plenty of lard for the royalty. And a response from Burness that could only be considered abusive in tone.

(Faculty members flying in the back of commercial jetliners, told now to cut their travel expenses because of the budget crisis, may appreciate knowing about that perk particularly)

Coach Cut by the way was offered a ride in a university jet when he came to interview, but declined, driving overnight instead.

Coach K enjoyed a substantial salary prior to his flirtation with the Lakers: in the 2002-2003 school year, $800,000 in base and an expense account, unexplained in documents that Fact Checker has reviewed for you, of $617,028.

After he decided to remain at Duke he received a 50 percent hike. In fairness, and Fact Checker is fair, I note the expense account got trimmed at this time, but apparently the corporate jet got added. One can only surmise.

In the next year, K received an additional hike -- of $1 million a year. And in the year after that he received yet another increase -- of $1 million a year.

This brings us to the $3.7 million that the Chronicle cites for 2007-08, the latest available. Numbers like these are found in Form 990 of the university's tax return, on page 37 for Brodhead, page 60 of 88 for Coach K, in case you want to do some research of your own.

It is assumed but not known if Coach K's salary was governed by the current wage freeze or if his contract prevailed. We'll find some of that out next April, along with confirmation of Coach Cut's initial salary.

This of course is not Coach K's entire financial package: Duke and he get intertwined in endorsements (Nike for example). Plus all of his other activites that build on the Duke brand.

We do not know if, for example, the Nike deal in outfitting our teams and in gaining endorsement, is included in K's university salary, or if Nike may cut a check directly to him. The same applies to the Fuqua motivational program that coach K conducts annually ($1600 a guest) which Fact Checker believes is handled by a subsidiary corporation.

✔Fact Checker presents numbers, you tell me if you like them!

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