Earlier this week, Clemson announced that coach Dabo Swinney received a one-year contract extension and a $900,000 raise. That brings Swinney's salary up to $1.75 million next year, more than double what he made a year ago.
Miami coach Randy Shannon, meanwhile, is still waiting for his contract extension to be finalized. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel raised the issue of how these ongoing contract negotiations might have hurt Miami's recruiting efforts.
Money is obviously at the heart of the issue, and it only gets more complicated when agents are involved, but there hasn't been any doubt from either Shannon or athletic director Kirby Hocutt that it's going to happen. Shannon deserves his contract extension and eventually, he's going to get it, but when it comes to haggling out the terms of the deal, Shannon might have to swallow his pride.
In his first season, Swinney took the Tigers to the program's first ACC championship game. He also won his bowl game, beating an SEC team in the process. Had Miami been in contention to win the Coastal Division in late November, or defeated Wisconsin in the bowl game, Shannon would probably have more power to negotiate.
What both Shannon and Hocutt need to agree on as quickly as possible is a contract that assures recruits Shannon will be around long enough to coach them. The major monetary rewards should be modeled after Clemson -- you get the big money when you reach the ACC championship game. Shannon has done well cleaning up the program, recruiting character athletes and putting Miami in position to be a national title contender again. But he hasn't even won a bowl game yet, let alone his division. His next contract should not only be an assurance to potential recruits, it should also further inspire Shannon to reach the championship level.