Arizona is proposing a new grade-point average bonus structure for the contract of women’s basketball coach Adia Barnes, after the Arizona Board of Regents held a long discussion at June meeting over whether the floor was too low.
Barnes, who will be paid $400,000 next season under an otherwise approved contract that now runs through 2023-24, now would receive a $30,000 bonus only if her players average at least a 3.30 GPA and a $15,000 bonus for a GPA between 3.0 and 3.29.
The previous terms proposed paying Barnes $30,000 for a 3.10 GPA and $15,000 for a GPA between 2.70 and 3.09. The new proposal also adds a level where Barnes would earn $7,500 for a GPA between 2.80-2.99.
However, the bonus structure for the Wildcats’ Academic Progress rating remains unchanged. Barnes will be paid $10,000 if the four-year rolling average score is at least 971, which is below UA’s most recent score of 987, and $15,000 if it is a perfect 1,000.
During ABOR’s June meeting, Regent Lyndel Manson expressed concern about Barnes’ “significant” salary leap from $235,000 to $400,000 as well as the bonus structures for team GPA and Academic Progress Ratings.
The UA women’s team posted a team GPA of 3.19 in 2017-18, which was enough to have qualified Barnes for a $30,000 bonus before but now would qualify only for $15,000.
“I am someone who is loath to pay bonuses for being below the status quo,” Manson said.
Manson’s comments sparked a 20-minute discussion in which the Regents considered bringing the issue back the next day, then ultimately voted to remove the academic incentives entirely, giving UA athletic director Dave Heeke a chance to rework them in time for Thursday’s meeting.
The Regents approved all other terms of the contract at their June meeting, including a retention structure that effectively raises Barnes' salary by $25,000 every season she stays at UA, up to $500,000 in 2023-24.
There is no listing for "legal advice or discussion" regarding UA men's basketball on the agenda for this meeting, as has been the case in previous meetings.