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Craig Skinner gets six-year extension

Congrats to UK Volleyball Coach Craig Skinner, who received a new six-year $1,125,000 deal from the university this morning. The extension, which includes opportunities for incentives, follows the volleyball team’s second consecutive Sweet 16 finish, and the seventh consecutive tournament appearance.

Mitch Barnhart said that the deal is “an effort to keep greatness here” in case other schools attempt to lure Skinner away. Skinner, who just finished his eighth season at Kentucky, said he came to Lexington to “build a program of national relevance,” and cited the success of other teams and the buzz surrounding the football program as proof that it’s “an exciting time at the University of Kentucky.”

I interviewed Skinner a few weeks ago about this team’s success and the growing popularity of volleyball at Kentucky. Check it out for some more insight into the man behind the team with the tiny shorts.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

55 Comments for Craig Skinner gets six-year extension

  1. Timandcompany
    12:05 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Biggest waste of money ever

  2. Timandcompany
    12:06 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Volleyball wouldnt raise 1 million in twenty years

  3. JRupp
    12:07 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Infuriating. This should be a glorified volunteer position.

  4. CatsFan
    12:13 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    The volleyball team is doing every male on UK’s campus a favor. On and off the court.

  5. Final4Prince
    12:16 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    3 – Maybe someone on the internet thinks YOUR job is a glorified volunteer position.

  6. GBB
    12:22 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Quality person. Volleyball can be a revenue generator if UK keeps its commitment to all sports. See how B10 TV network uses these sports and makes cash? I like winning and Skinner is a winner.

  7. Superintendent Chalmers
    12:24 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink


  8. true story
    12:39 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Seems like cash for the fball recruiting budget to me. Agreed – waste.

  9. Joe
    12:47 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Seems like cash for the fball recruiting budget to me. Agreed — waste.

    Who do you think funds Alabama’s or USC’s volleyball team(s)? Thats’ right, their FOOTBALL PROGRAMS. Stop with this incessant whining about Olympic Sports and Football, it goes on on EVERY campus! Now if you want to show UK spends a greater PROPORTION of it’s sports budget on the Olympic Sports, that’s another thing.

    But Nick Saban/Lane Kiffin pay for their volleyball coaches as well, it’s not different at UK, either.

  10. Chicago Chris
    12:47 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Wow – buncha haters here. If UK is paying him this much, then other schools would as well.

  11. Joe
    12:55 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    My question is, “A six year deal?” Really, what if he stinks it up? Are we going to be paying two v-ball coaches, a la UT? I just think 6 years is an awfully long term contract…but I don’t know sports contracting, either.

  12. "You Can't Handle The Truth"
    12:59 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    $1,250,000 reasons to “Skinner Back”

  13. barryz
    1:13 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    9 & 10. How are they hating? You just have no clue what you are talking about. First of if you think UK football brings in anywhere near the money Bama and USC does then you should never speak of sports again. Second, UK should concentrate on football first and spend the money like 8 said first, then shell out cash for other sports when the football program gets good and brings in the money it should.

  14. Joe
    1:20 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    How are they hating? You just have no clue what you are talking about. First of if you think UK football brings in anywhere near the money Bama and USC does then you should never speak of sports again

    Never said that UK Sports brought in as much…what I said was Kiffin and Saban pay for their v-ball coaches, too. Again, IF UK puts a higher PROPORTION of it’s revenues into Olympic Sports, you may be onto something.

    But just to complain that this is money from football, is SO WHAT?

    BTW, Ttitle IX of the US Code makes a great deal of this necessary, BTW…so it just isn’t a “luxury.”

  15. JRupp
    1:41 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    UK isn’t on the level of Bama and USC so it should spend a lower proportion of its revenues (as little as possible to maintain Title IX) on other sports.

    The complaint isn’t the source of the money, it’s the amount. The “luxury” is the excess above Title IX minimum. If other schools are trying to lure the coach away, they’re offering above Title IX minimum. Let them have him.

    Every sport besides football and basketball should be relegated to Student Activities Board level of involvement (and budget). These sports serve as follies for students to attend on campus and for few in the Lexington community who want a cheap family outing that’s a smidgen better than local high school sports.

    They are a huge waste of resources. Their highest possible function will ultimately amount to filler programming for the SEC TV network. Their scholarships would be better suited to actual “scholars,” – not just some kids who are good at swimming or whatever.

  16. JVice
    2:00 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Well over six figures a year to coach a revenue losing program. How on earth does this make sense? Take that salary, cut it in half, and that should be top dollar for a freaking volleyball coach.

  17. Joe
    2:06 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Say JRupp, just why is Futeballllll any different than Swimming? It’s a sport, we shuold take the money devoted to football and give it to REAL scholars. Your problem is you like football and begrudge other sports. Because anything that can be said of Rifle or Pumpkin Carving can be said of football…

    And you assume we pay a higher proportion of revenue to Olympic Sports, do we?

    JVince, if Lane Kiffin is paying his v-ball coach more than that sum, we don’t keep ours…salaries are comparative and don’t occur in a vacuum.

  18. JRupp
    2:22 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    The difference is revenue generated from TV deals. Sports and news are the only “appointment television” products left for advertisers to latch on to and that’s why they garner the huge deals. The only college sports that enough people care to watch are football and basketball.

    It’s not my problem that I like to watch college football and college basketball. It’s every other college sports’ problem that most American TV viewers shares my preferences. They are lucky to exist at all.

    Football drives the bus, and no matter what the profits are, the AD will spend all of it. The problem is sharing the wealth to other programs, above what is mandated by law. It’s practically communism.

  19. Joe
    2:27 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    JRupp, I don’t dispute your point, but anything that can be said of pumpkin Carving can be said of Football…it’s a sport. Money ought to go to “real” scholars, not just those wh can run fast with a pig skin.

    But once you concede that running with a pig skin is good enough to ay for college then you pretty much have to accept swimming/pumpkin carving, too…

    You just object to spending anything beyond some legally obligated minimum, I don’t.

  20. Linda Taylor
    2:36 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    JRupp – At the very least know what you are talking about, “a smidgen better than local high school sports” is a ridiculous statement. If you had ever been to the volleyball games you would know that a great deal more than a “few” in the Lexington community attend the games and that they are very exciting. You are entitled to your opinion. Just be accurate in your assessment of the quality of the performance of the athletes. I took a friend of mine who was a college volleyball player who was good enough that she was invited to tryout for the USA Women’s Olympic Volleyball Team to one of our women’s volleyball games and she was very impressed with our team, especially Ashley Frazier, Stephanie Kleflot and Whitney Billings. My friend’s jersey is hanging in the rafters of the gym of her university. She would take one look at your comment and know immediately that you have no clue what you are talking about.
    Volleyball is a very popular sport in many countries. Many of the best US players move to those countries and make very good livings playing the sport they love. There is no reason why the sport can’t become more popular here too.
    Personally I would boycott any UK sports program that didn’t support high quality sports for women. I would never buy another men’s football or basketball ticket ever again. I would never contribute one penny to the KFund. I wouldn’t even watch the games on TV or listen to the radio broadcasts I would be so angry. I would never buy another tshirt or anything else that had UK on it. I am sure there are many other women that feel the same way I do.

  21. JRupp
    2:39 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    I understand that higher learning and TV sports make for odd bedfellows and in Utopian Academia all of the scholarships would go to scholars. But that is not the situation.

    Football and Basketball rule, they are self-sustaining, and even egghead collegiate sport haters have to admit that they serve as national marketing for the university. The other sports will never achieve this level of marketing ROI.

    I don’t know what the minimum is for Title IX, but I would like us to pursue it. Everything else could be left to club sports.

  22. acat
    3:01 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    If I am not mistaken athletics scholarships are self-funded by the athletics dept. I also was under the impression that athletics gave funds to the regular students, not only the student athletes. Nothing is taken from the academics side. Maybe football can’t pay for everything, but what about basketball?
    You haters must be the ones always chosen last on the playground. God Bless the Big Blue Nation!

  23. coach
    3:03 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    JRupp…wow, just WOW…JRupp gotta be gay

  24. bigfan
    3:09 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    #21 WTF? Agree football and basketball are the main ROI..then there are LOTS and I mean LOTS of UK sports fans than never step foot in Rupp arena or Commonwealth, rather watch volleyball, softball, baseball, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, womens basketball, archery, and the TITLE IX sports in which you refer. I personally hope the football program gets somewhat better (I will never go) but if they get better then they can give the TITLE IX sports more money! Thanx

  25. JRupp
    3:11 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve never been to a volleyball game and I’m sure its exciting as all get out. That doesn’t have anything to do with how profitable it is. I don’t care what the level of play is, judging by pictures of attendance on, it looks to be a “smidgen” better than a big-time high school event.

    I guess its main purpose is to serve as a placation of equal rights for fans like yourself, Linda, and avoid bad PR. As an investment in goodwill it serves its purpose against bad PR, but I would hope that we could achieve this for much cheaper.

    There must be some reason the sport won’t become more popular here, because it hasn’t. The only bump in marketable popularity for the American market came from forcing the women to wear tiny bikinis on the beach and serve as socially acceptable sex objects to ogle on daytime network TV.

    Title IX minimums would maintain quality sports for women, but even after your boycotts I’m sure the TV networks would have no problem cutting another big check to the SEC and UK for football and basketball. That battle was already fought and Title IX came out of it in the first place.

    And, I wasn’t making a Title IX argument. I was making an all sports but football and basketball argument, including men’s sports. Volleyball is just the latest sport to get a ridiculous payday that it has no way of ever paying back.

  26. Joe
    3:15 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    JRupp it’s just a fundamental disagreement. I see no difference between Swimmers and Quarterbacks…conceptually. We disagree as to how much their coaches should get.

    You seem to feel/begrudge anything beyond the minimum. I don’t.

    I believe UK Sports is more than Football and Basketball, and apparently so does the AD. And UK is one of the top Five SPORTS Program in the nation, now. I don’ know it has come at the “expense” of Football. If you can show that some how the V-ball coach’s salary could have changed the outcome of this season, please show how.

  27. bigfan
    3:22 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Your hope for the achievement of volleyball (and other sports besides the laughable football program at UK) is just that, a hope. Example the big payday for volleyball, baseball, softball coach contracts.
    #2 Hey thanks again for whomever the big checks from the bump in marketable popularity from the TV in the big sports, I am sure Skinner, and Rachel Lawson feels the same, right?
    How the UK football program, or it’s fans can have the thought it deserves this money is beyond imagination for any rational thinker

  28. JRupp
    3:32 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    The vast majority of money generated from the AD is from football and basketball. They should use as much of that money as possible to better themselves. Maintaining a minimum of Title IX sports and letting everything else fall to club level would do this.

    I believe that UK Sports would be equally regarded by the majority of fans even if most teams were at a club level. The local rabid fans who care about those programs could still attend and use their own money to support the sports they love. (They would have to once they were off Football and Basketball’s dole.)

    I have no idea where this “Top 5” program stat is coming from, but after the mass exodus to club teams, on paper we would not be a “Top 5” Capital One Cup program. But not many people care about that anyway – I just had a hard time finding the results (currently we are not listed in the Top 30 and did not make the Top 10 last year).

    Mitch talked on the radio about how much the 8 million dollar scoreboard renovation cost. If he cut the salaries of some of these non-revenue generating coaches, he could put up new scoreboards every year. It wouldn’t care if it changed the outcome of the season. It would mean that they are doing all they can to do so.

  29. coach
    3:51 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    JRupp…you seem to be a person of statistical figures. In keeping with that thought, you must agree that if the past 50 yrs UK football is doing the exact thing in which you are lobbying against. Taking revenue from the marketbale popularity of football and basketball of other schools, because UK football damn sure hasn’t raised enough bowl television revenue, and has pitiful ROI on it’s own to even warrant getting on a field on any given saturday. Nothing from the likes of Florida, Alabams, LSU, Auburn etc..etc. Hell we can go back as far as Tennessee. How much of this revenue and ROI has the UK football program sucked off it’s other SEC schools?

  30. JRupp
    4:00 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    The football program has gotten almost all of its money from its association with the SEC and hasn’t lived up to it on the field. Taking from this pile of money, which apparently isn’t even enough to make it competitive in first place, and giving some of it away for any reason (leaving itself even worse off) is reprehensible. This is the system we’re dealing with – we’re not going to quit football on principle.

  31. coach
    4:13 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Exactly, it IS the system we’re dealing with, and for the past 50 yrs the UK athletics administration has used it’s resources wisely and should be applauded. Ya get what ya pay for, and evidently the UK athletic departement decided overwhelmingly yrs ago, they ain’t paying for that. Why would they quit on football? Hell, let the other schools in the SEC pay our bills seems smart business. Majority don’t care about football anymore than other sports. There will be packed house at the first few games, but just like always UK will not compete and attendance will drop (like always) and again, the same 17 fans like yourself will be in those cold metal bleachers.

  32. Linda Taylor
    4:13 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    We did not have quality women’s teams under previous ADs because we were doing exactly what you want, spending the absolute minimum on our women’s programs. Now we are developing quality teams that compete at the highest levels. We couldn’t do that without putting money into those programs. There is more than enough money to fund football, men’s basketball and all the other sports teams with the huge tv contracts from the SEC. To begrudge the other programs a decent amount of support that enables them to be competitive in their league shows a smallness of spirit on your part. Even you would have to admit that the money UK receives from the SEC tv contract has more to do with the quality of football at the other SEC schools than the product UK puts on the field. Hopefully with the Stoops hire that will change, but surely the money we have received from those tv contracts has hardly been “earned” by this football team. We’ve been a fortunate beneficiary of being in a great conference. The rest of the conference puts some of that SEC money into the other sports so why shouldn’t we. The problem with our football funding has been with the legislature not approving the bonding needed to improve CWS. Hopefully now that the roadblock to that funding is no longer in the state senate those bonds will be approved. Joker himself said that Mitch gave him everything he asked for. There should be more than enough money for all of the sports with the new tv contract coming up.
    If you think I am the only one who would be up in arms about going back to inadequate funding of women’s sports at UK you are greatly mistaken. There would be a tremendous backlash. If you think the tailgating was bad this year, just think about who cooks the majority of the food at those tailgates. We women do. There would be very little to eat at future tailgates. Don’t look for those new UK jackets under the tree in future years because women do the vast majority of the shopping and we won’t support a program that treats us like second class citizens. You all will get pretty lonely without our company at the games. Don’t even try to have a game watching party at the house because that’s not going to happen if women’s programs get sent back to the dark ages. Are you starting to get my drift? The ways we can make our feelings known are myriad and the administration would feel it just an surely as the 18,000 people watching the Vanderbilt game made them feel it. The difference is so would the men in our lives and I don’t really think they would be very happy with the fallout.

  33. Barryzpizza
    4:22 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Linda no disrespect, but you don’t know what our talking about. Football pays for every sports except mens basketball. They need to focus on building it into a great program first. Yes they have made new hires but the facilities, recruiting etc to football could be a lot better. If uk was a top 25 team then they should pay for all these other sports because the income would be coming in. But until then they should not be overpaying for that stuff. The football program has some of the worse facilities in the sec and among the lowest recruiting budge. So think about that first before saying everyone else is wrong.

  34. Bob Smith
    4:27 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, you might need to double it once he realizes what a bunch of sexist, outdated, uneducated hacks he is living amongst. Skinner is one of the best and brightest. He promotes good will and excellence for the University of Kentucky. The volleyball program IS generating revenue, but like even most football programs (especially yours) it does not pay for itself or make a profit. Some things are not measured in dollars and cents, but SENSE. He deserves every penny, and you should all be thankful he is staying. He has had MANY opportunities to leave. Kudos to the UK administration for being at the forefront.

  35. JRupp
    4:40 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    coach – I think the vast majority do care about football more than other sports (save basketball obviously). It’s a simple numbers game, football is on TV, nothing else is -> More people care about football. UK fans don’t have some oddball fascination with a 2nd tier sport to offset this fact.

    The total attendance from a single game of late season, empty stands of Commonwealth would rival the entire home season attendance of many other sports. I haven’t attended a game since college so I won’t be there either.

    Linda – I don’t care how little of a difference it would make, I would rather each football player get one extra Gatorade a day than help any other sport win a championship (Bah! Humbug!). I’m sure there would be a backlash if Mitch went for the nuclear option, but ideally UKAD would maintain just a modicum of ridiculous salaries to fend off a backlash – well below this bonkers level we seem to be hitting now.

  36. Linda Taylor
    4:48 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    33 – The problem with the facilities was a problem with the state legislature not approving the bonding for improvements, not that we didn’t have the money to pay for the improvements. So you will have to excuse me if I say YOU need to know what YOU are talking about first. The money has been there all along to spend on remodeling CWS but the state senate would not approve the bonds because the university lumped the funding together with bonding for other areas of the university not related to athletics. As I stated in my previous post Joker said that Mitch gave him EVERYTHING he asked for. That includes the recruiting budget. You are probably looking at the article that said UK spends less on recruiting than other schools. That article was very misleading because every school does their accounting differently. What one school would put under one category, another school would put under another category. It cannot be used as an accurate comparison of what UK actually spends on recruiting. That subject was covered over and over this past year on this very website. So, yes, I do know what I am talking about. There is more than enough money to have a decent football program and pay for other sports also. I’ve also seen this university throw all kinds of money into the football program and still have nothing to show for it. At least now we can point with pride to our other programs that are establishing a winning tradition.

  37. Linda Taylor
    4:51 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    My previous post was directed at Barryzpizza.

  38. Linda Taylor
    5:26 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    JRupp – “football is on TV, nothing else is” Really? If that is the case then how in the world does my tv have UK women’s basketball and even OMG UK women’s volleyball on it? Is it only my tv? I don’t think so. Anyone who gets the same channels I get can see the same shows I see. I make a habit of DVRing the women’s basketball games so that I can watch them again after I’ve already seen them live in Memorial. I also appreciate when an away game is televised as I can not make the trip to the away games.
    Now you say you haven’t even been to a football game since you were in school. Well, that says a great deal right there. I also can guarantee the football players are not in want of Gatorade. I can just picture Joker telling his players this year “Now you guys, you’re only allowed four Gatorades a day, no more”. Give me a break.

  39. JRupp
    5:37 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    It’s great that volleyball and women’s basketball are beating out reruns of Friends on your dial. Let them operate on their own revenues if that is the case. I was referring to the big contracts football contracts that fund the entire system. I’ve worked and lived in Manhattan since graduation and haven’t made it back for a game yet.

  40. Linda Taylor
    6:02 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    JRupp you have an irritating habit of making broad generalized statements, then when called out on them, you qualify them. I believe I can speak for a number of fans that have posted on this board today. Just stay in NY. You are not missed in KY. Go enjoy your Friends reruns. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve watched that show.

  41. JRupp
    6:33 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    You love F-R-I-E-N-D-S and you know it, Linda.

  42. Sizzlincatfish
    6:37 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    You guys are funny. Not alllll resources do or should go to revenue generating sports. And you’re nuts if you think they should. Welcome to the reality of college sports.

  43. Lewke
    6:42 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    So we are going to pay the Head Coach of the volleyball team who has taken the team to 7 straight NCAA tournaments and back to back Sweet 16’s about the same as the Offensive Line coach in his first job at a BCS school?

    Sorry, but I find it hard to see how people are so up in arms over this. Particularly after how much money is going into the football coaching staff this year over previous years (which I agree with as well).

  44. Linda Taylor
    6:59 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    No JRupp, I don’t. Maybe the few episodes I saw weren’t the best episodes. I know it was popular, I just never got into it.

  45. Linda Taylor
    7:05 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    44 – Actually, no, the OLine coach will be making about $550,000 PER YEAR. The volleyball coach will be making $187,500 per year.

  46. Bledsoe's Biceps
    8:18 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    JRupp seems to be all about the benjamins and thinks they should only be spent on the products/sports he likes. Sorry, but that’s just not realistic for any university. Every university is about marketing to the widest audience possible, in order to attract a diverse student population that pays tuition, room & board. It’s the same reason they invest in many non-sports endeavors (science programs, the arts, etc). Contrary to your highly inflated self-appreciation, most people understand and agree with this use of university funds.

  47. Sizzlincatfish
    8:56 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Exactly. If UK doesn’t, other schools will, and suddenly UK is wondering why enrollment is growing at those schools and not at theirs.

  48. Hartline
    10:10 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone who says this is a bad idea is a complete idiot. Skinner is a great coach and an ambassador of this university. JRupp isn’t a true fan.

  49. Lewke
    10:28 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Linda –

    No, you have the positions wrong. The Offensive COORDINATOR will be making ~550k per year. The Offensive LINE coach will be making 200k. Which as I pointed out is about the same as the volleyball coach (200 vs 187) so again I don’t understand why people are so up in arms over Skinners contract.

  50. Haters gonna hate
    11:51 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Dear haters:
    Put the cigarette out, shoot the cat off your desk, change out of those sweatpants, and do something productive like Skinner has over the past 8 years. Jesus!

  51. Haters gonna hate
    11:52 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    Shoo, not shoot. Cats are awesome!

  52. Linda Taylor
    12:01 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    49 – OK, gotcha. Still recovering from a bad car accident and not quite back to 100% yet. Totally agree with you by the way. People like JRupp are impossible. We are very lucky to have Skinner. He has done a tremendous job and deserves to make a good living.

  53. coach
    1:41 pm December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Somehow this Jrupp thinks that UK cares how it should be ran by an apartment dwelling bean counter from Manhattan who doesn’t even own a car. UK football history and the majority speaks for itself, and just like ghost of football past, present and future. UK hires an offensive coordinator with zero head coaching experience to lead, then a offensive coordinator from a tech school that got slapped on national television for not doing his job. How would that work in places like Florida, Alabama, Ohio State where the “majority” do care about football, unlike the state of KY. This is also proven on any Friday night at high school football fields in this state, compared to above states mentioned.

  54. wheelcog
    2:03 pm December 20, 2012 Permalink

    It’s obvious that anyone who feels the way jropp does had a younger sister who was the better althlete in the family and he never got the hugs from Dad,still holds a grudge, but hey…still blew that tuba at the football games where he was and still is a BIG ol football fan

  55. JRupp
    4:25 pm December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I drive a Dodge Stratus.