Lexington, KY - Normally an assistant coach getting a raise wouldn’t be major news, but when that assistant is going to make $800,000 per year before the extension ends, that’s news!

Why, because Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne has been an integral part to Kentucky having four of the past five number one recruiting classes, and when he is making more than (20) twenty of the head coaches that made the NCAA Tournament this past spring you can see that he is valued by John Calipari like no one else, and is a key to the Kentucky success.

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone for making as much as they can, or as much as someone is willing to pay them. Payne is without a doubt an assistant of immense worth.

Rumor has it he may not be the highest paid assistant in college basketball, but is definitely in the hunt. What it points out is the fact that those who have the ability to pay, will pay for assistants who deliver, but also that there is going to continue to be a wide gap between the haves and have nots in college basketball.

Especially, when that assistant continues to head a recruiting staff that delivers the top class in recruiting as the Kentucky staff did again this year. This Associate Head Coach will not look to make a move to head coaching anytime soon, much to the relief of Calipari, and will be able to pick and choose where he goes, if he ever leaves Kentucky because he isn’t going to take a pay cut to become a head coach.

His running mates on the staff, Tony Barbee and John Robic both make $400,000 or more. The Kentucky staff is well rewarded for their success on the recruiting trail that’s for sure.

In the future, we will take a look at the staff salaries of many of the top programs that the Wildcats compete with to see if they, like Kentucky follow suit and show that same appreciation.

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