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John Calipari offered ‘lifetime contract,’ per report

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The Final Four is set. USA TODAY Sports’ Scott Gleeson looks toward Saturday’s games featuring Auburn vs. Virginia and Texas Tech vs. Michigan State.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Amid interest from UCLA, Kentucky has reportedly offered John Calipari “what is essentially a lifetime contract” to remain as its head coach, according to Seth Davis of the Athletic

Davis reported UK granted UCLA permission to speak to Calipari about its open head coaching job but was not initially concerned about losing him to the only program with more national championships than Kentucky. After learning of the financial commitment UCLA was willing to make to lure Calipari, UK offered a 10-year extension that would include a promise to serve as an ambassador for the university after his retirement, according to the report, which cites unnamed sources.

Calipari told UCLA last week he was not interested in leaving Lexington, according to Davis.

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A UK spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

Since being hired by Kentucky in 2009, Calipari has been awarded five different contract extensions and raises.

The most recent amendment to his contract was signed in March 2017 and extended the deal through the 2023-24 season. The deal is worth $8 million per year and includes a clause calling for a review of his salary in June 2022 to determine if his compensation is still “comparable in the marketplace to its relative position” at the time the extension was signed.

USA Today’s database of coaching salaries lists Calipari as the highest-paid coach in the country at $9.2 million (which includes income Calipari reported other than payments by the school).

According to Davis’ report, the new contract offer from UK would not substantially increase Calipari’s salary.

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Under the current terms of Calipari’s deal, he would owe UK no buyout for leaving the school for another coaching job.

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