Tuesday July 7th, 2015

The University of Virginia has loaded up basketball coach Tony Bennett's contract with incentives in an effort to persuade the seventh-year coach to stay in Charlottesville, according to a report from The Roanoke Times.

Bennett will earn $2.1 million this coming season, up from the $1.9 million the school agreed to pay Bennett as part of a June 2014, seven-year extension the coach signed. 

$1.7 million of his annual compensation will be earmarked as “supplemental compensation,” while $400,000 comprises Bennett's base salary, according to the report. Both figures will increase by five percent annually. 

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The contract contains a $3 million buyout in the event Bennett leaves before Mar. 15, 2018, the report said. That figure more than doubled from Bennett's 2014 contract. 

The news of the contract's restructuring comes as Bennett, a Wisconsin native, a former Wisconsin-Green Bay player and a former assistant coach at Wisconsin, is being mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Bo Ryan as Wisconsin after the 2015–16 season. 

Ryan announced last month that he would retire at the conclusion of next season, ending what will be a 17-year Division I coaching career. 

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The newly structured deal, originally a straight six-year extension slated to expire after the 2020–21 season, also provides the school with one-year extensions following the completion of each of the final three years. If the school exercises each one of the extensions, Bennett could be at Virginia under the current deal through the 2023–24 seasons.

Bennett will also receive six season tickets to Virginia football games, 20 season tickets to basketball games, and $250,000 bonuses for either an Elite Eight or a Final Four appearance in the NCAA tournament. 

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