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Sandy Barbour employment contract: A closer look

What does the contract say????

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The other day, we took a look at Sandy Barbour's performance as Athletic Director of Cal. Some people liked it. Some people hated it. Today, I want to focus less on how you think she is doing/has done and more on the substance of her contract. If we are talking about how performance, we should know how much money she makes, how much it might cost Cal to replace her (which I would not condone), and what bonuses are available to her.

There are four main documents in discussing Sandy's contract (which can be viewed here):

1. Employment Contract, executed November, 2004.
2. 2004 Contract Addendum, executed November, 2004
3. 2006 Contract Addendum, executed November, 2006
4. 2010 Contract Addendum, agreed upon in May, 2010, but backdated to July 1, 2009. The Regent Notes that include the terms of this Addendum state that this new Addendum is being done urgently because other schools have contacted Sandy. I wonder what other schools they were.

They do it that way, so that all Cal and Sandy have to do is execute a new Addendum and it updates the Employment Contract. The Employment Contract itself is mostly boilerplate (i.e. boring legalese that is included in every contract). So, let's dive in!

First thing you note off the bat: Sandy Barbour IS NOT NAMED SANDY BARBOUR! Her real name is Anne Barbour. WHAT ELSE HAS SHE BEEN HIDING FROM US?!?! Who is this Anne Barbour imposter??? I'm already VERY concerned about this situation. But let's give Anne Barbour the second chance to make a first impression and soldier on.

The start is, like I said, boilerplate, about how all parties agree that Sandy will be employed and will work as the Athletics Director. The contract has a specific term, which is, at the outset, October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2009. Two contract addendums later, her current deal runs through June 30, 2015.

After some more boilerplate, it gets into the discussion on compensation. Her compensation (like with Tedford and Dykes) is split into many different parts, including base salary, talent fee, bonuses and more. Let's look at them one at a time on a yearly basis.

Base salary

In the 2004 Addendum, Sandy's annual base salary from October 2004 to September 30, 2009 starts at $238,000.00. Her annual year is from October 1 of one year to September 30 of the next year. She only got this base salary for 2004/2005 and 2005/2006.

Per the 2006 Addendum, this base salary increased as follows:

2006/2007 - $252,850.00
2007/2008 - $262,950.00
2008/2009 - $273,450.00
2009/2010 - $284,400.00
2010/2011 - $295,800.00

However, she only got that for 2006-2009. The 2010 Addendum (which shifted everything from an October-September year to a July 1 to June 30 year) created a new base salary started on July 1, 2009. It is as follows:

2009/2010 - $370,150.00
2010/2011 - $381,550.00
2011/2012 - $392,997.00
2012/2013 - $404,787.00
2013/2014 - $416,931.00
2014/2015 - $429,439.00

So, in looking at the growth of the base salary, it's almost doubled since she started here in 2010. The Regents notes linked above on the 2010 Addendum, However, this is slightly inaccurate, because the 2010 Addendum gets rid of the talent fee and just lumps it into the base salary. Let's look at the talent fee, then.

Talent Fee

In the 2004 Addendum, the talent fee is $19,500.00 per year each year. In the 2006 Addendum, it is as follows:

2006/2007 - $52,650.00
2007/2008 - $69,200.00
2008/2009 - $85,750.00
2009/2010 - $85,750.00
2010/2011 - $85,750.00

So, if you lump the anticipated $85,750.00 into the base salaries listed above, she's really only getting a raise in the base salaries to the high $200,000s to low $300,000s. The jumps are not quite as big as it seems. The Regent Notes state that average market median for Pac-10 Athletic Directors in 2010 is $402,000.00. At that time, Sandy was below market. They also note that UCLA pays its AD $512,655.00. Now, given how great UCLA sports have been, he's worth every penny and anybody who states otherwise has no idea what they are talking about. It would be nice to get Sandy's compensation up that way. Sure, Cal MBB isn't winning the Pac-12 like UCLA is and Cal football isn't winning their division the way that UCLA is, but still. I think Sandy is doing a solid job and should be in line base salary-wise with UCLA.

So, for this year (2012/2013), Sandy should be getting $416,931.00 in base salary.


Sandy gets 20 days of vacation a year. In the 2004 Addendum, unused vacation days don't carry over from year to year (which I thought was illegal?). In the 2006 Addendum and beyond, the unused days can carry over from year to year, but she cannot accrue more than 40 at any time.

Other Leaves

She gets 12 days of sick time.


She gets a free car!

Moving Expenses

In 2004, Cal gave her money to move here.

Relocation Allowance

Cal also gives her a "Relocation Allowance." I don't see how this is different from the moving expense, except that it goes for years. In the 2004 Addendum it goes like this:

2004/2005 - $66,250.00
2005/2006 - $49,687.00
2006/2007 - $33,125.00
2008/2009 - $16,563.00

In the 2006 Addendum, it is changed as followed:

2006/2007 - $11,925.00
2007/2008 - $59,6300

Nothing seems to exist in the 2010 Addendum. As such, Cal is no longer providing any money for this vague and unclear purpose.

Housing Allowance

In the 2004 Addendum, there is language about a loan through a Cal mortgage program. In the 2006 Addendum, it is now a housing allowance as follows:

2006/2007 - $21,200.00
2007/2008 - $10,600.00

This doesn't exist in the 2010 Addendum.

Performance Bonuses

This is where it gets more interesting. In the 2004 Addendum, Sandy's performance bonuses (which are capped at 20% of the $238,500.00 base salary) are as follows:

2.5% of base salary for each increase of 10% of a grade point average for student athletes in the spring semester. It notes that in spring, 2004, the athlete GPA is 2.99.

10% of base salary if Cal wins the Sears Director's Cup in either gender. 6% of base salary for a top 5 finish. 3% for a top 10 performance.

8% of base salary if Cal goes to a BCS Bowl Game. 2.5% of base salary for any bowl game.

5% of base salary if Sandy is in charge when the Memorial Stadium upgrade is finished.

5% of base salary if Sandy helps "fully integrate" the entire Athletic operation into the campus community. This one seems vague to me.

In the 2006 Addendum, the bonuses are as follows (note that the base pay changes from year to year under this Addendum):

5% of base pay if all teams achieve the APR threshold. 5% of base pay for progress in graduation rates. This is vague.

5% of base pay for meeting certain financial objectives not specified in the document.

5% of base pay for that integration focus noted above.

The key difference is the athletic success payments. Sandy can get a bonus for each of the following sports:
4% for MBB to Tourney; 5% for MBB to Final Four; 7.5% for MBB winning the nat champ

Same numbers for WBB

4% for football to a bowl game; 5% for football to a BCS bowl; and 7.5% for football to a national championship

2.5% for Sears Cup Top 20; 4% for Sears Cup Top 10; 5% for Sears Cup Top 5; 7.5% for Sears Cup #1

In the 2010 Addendum, the bonuses are as follows (note that the base pay changes from year to year under this Addendum):

Same academic bonuses as 2006 Addendum

The financial objectives bonus is now up to 20%

5% for MBB to Tourney; 5% for MBB to Final Four; 7.5% for MBB winning the nat champ

Same numbers for WBB

5% for football to a bowl game; 5% for football to a BCS bowl; and 7.5% for football to a national championship

Same numbers for Sears Cup

If any sport outside of football or basketballs wins a national championship, 2.5% of base salary, capped at 2 bonuses.

Signing Bonus

In the 2006 Addendum, there is a 1 time $15,600.00 signing bonus.

ISP Payment

The 2006 Addendum introduces an ISP payment of $25,000.00 per year. I do not know what the ISP program is, however. In the 2010 Addendum, this bonus continues.

Retention Bonus Plan

The 2010 Addendum adds some more financial aspects. For example, they have a Retention Bonus Plan. This is essentially a bonus that is placed in an account and Sandy does not get it unless she is still working at Cal at a certain point. For 2009-2011, it is $120,000.00. She got that money on June 30, 2011. For 2011-2015, Sandy gets $160,000.00. She will get that money if she is working at Cal as of June 30, 2015. If Sandy is fired for cause, she gets none of this money. If she is fired without cause, she gets a pro-rata portion.

County Club

Sandy gets a membership in the Claremont Country Club.


So, that is her compensation. But wait, there's more. Section 7 on page 3 of the original 2004 contract makes it VERY specific that her primary purpose is educative. Educative purposes shall have priority here. Makes the poor results with academics all the more stark.

Non-University Sources

Also, Sandy cannot receive money from non-University sources without prior written approval from the Chancellor. Not sure how relevant any of this is, because I don't think marketers are banging down her door to get her in commercials etc etc.


Regarding termination, Cal can fire Sandy without cause at any time. However, if they do, they still have to pay her the base salary for the rest of the contract. She does have a duty to mitigate her damages, which means that she has to work to find another job and, then, if she does, any money she makes at that new job lowers the amount of money Cal has to pay her. If Cal was to fire her today, the amount owed to her would be somewhere around $800,000.00 between now and June 30, 2015. Compared to what they are paying Tedford, I think that is much less.

Final Note: The contract makes it clear that no tax money is used to pay her salary. It is all private sources. So, no concerns there.


It seems like a reasonable contract to me. Given that the football coaches are paid many times more than Anne "Sandy" Barbour here, I may have a skewed perspective. Her bonuses are percentage based instead of specific dollar amounts, which means they could be significantly higher as her base salary continues to grow over the next three years. I suspect that unless something truly massive happens, Cal will not fire Sandy between now and July 1, 2015. So, the question is, are they going to amend the contract again in the next few years to extend it? If so, what will the updated bonuses look like? I'll try to keep on top of that and report back.

The bottom line is that while football is the engine that runs the program, her contract regards the entirety of her role here. Her bonuses stretch across all sports. An argument could be made based off of the large amount of bonuses I believe she has already hit that she has been very successful. If the point of a bonus is to reward success, then it could be a workable barometer to see if she is meeting the terms of her contract. Outside of the academics, she basically is. But enough about me!

What are your thoughts on the contract?? Tell us in the comments. Thanks and GO BEARS!