Apr 9, 2024 - News

What to know about Arkansas' talks with John Calipari

photo of John Calipari

John Calipari might be Arkansas' next men's basketball coach. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

News of the University of Arkansas finalizing a deal with Kentucky coach John Calipari to be the next Razorbacks men's basketball coach has fans waiting for confirmation.

State of play: The deal is to be for five years, ESPN reported. Calipari is expected to make a little less than his current salary of $8.5 million per year, although incentives would sweeten the pot. If he were fired, Kentucky would have to pay him $33 million, but not if he leaves for another program.

The intrigue: Calipari has a longstanding relationship with John H. Tyson, former Tyson Foods CEO and grandson of company founder John W. Tyson. The Tyson family is "prepared to make a major commitment to land Calipari and pour millions into the men's basketball program," CBS reported.

Flashback: The Arkansas vacancy was created last week when Eric Musselman resigned to become head coach at the University of Southern California.

  • His annual salary at Arkansas was $4.2 million. Musselman led the Razorbacks to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in 2021 and 2022, and the Sweet 16 in 2023. The 2024 season was the team's first losing campaign during his five-year stay.
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