Men’s Basketball: Jim Christian’s Salary A Sign Of “Investment” To Basketball

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Ohio's head men's basketball coach Jim Christian will receive a $425,000 base salary for the next five years. The $425,000 makes Christian the highest paid employee at Ohio University ahead of President Roderick McDavis' near $390,000 salary and head football coach Frank Solich's $330,000 base salary.

Christian's salary is also $125,000 more than former head coach John Groce's $300,000 base salary. The apparent raise of $125,000 will not be paid for out of the university's general fund or general fee. Instead, it will be paid for by "non-institutional athletic generated revenue," according to Ohio athletics sports information director Tom Symonds.

That revenue can be generated by, but not limited to, sales of tickets, concessions, merchandise, donations to the athletic department and many other channels.

Where it will not come from is the Ohio student's tuition or general funds or fees.  

Athletic Director Jim Schaus said on Tuesday that he had talked to Groce "several weeks before the MAC Tournament" and said that he and Groce shared "a vision to try and invest into things like salaries, into facilities."

According to Schaus, the increase in salary was already in place, but Christian, not Groce is the beneficiary.

"That wasn't just done for him (John Groce), that was done long term for whoever that next person was going to be."

Ohio is showing that reinvestment with Christian's new deal as well as the upcoming renovations to the men's basketball locker rooms and the building of the Multi-Purpose Center.

2011-2012 will go down as arguably the best calendar year for Ohio sports, especially the main two. The football team captured its first-ever bowl to cap off a 10-win season, and men's basketball set a program record with 29 wins including two NCAA Tournament wins.

The challenge ahead for Schaus and the rest of the department is how to invest in each sport to ensure further success.

"I know they're not mutually exclusive because it comes out of one pot, but if your vision is for football and figure out what it's going to take to be successful that's that vision," Schaus said.

"Men's basketball is a different vision you have to identify what those goals are. if your goal is to be good at both, which ours is, then you have to be prepared to make those investments."