Don't weep for Tim DeRuyter. He won't be looking for spare change behind the cushions anytime soon.
While it's true Fresno State's football coach is underpaid by the wacky standard of his profession, DeRuyter will make at least $1.2 million for his efforts in 2013.
Which isn't too shabby -- and effectively doubles his base salary of $650,000.
More so than most FBS coaches, DeRuyter's total compensation is tied to performance bonuses written into his contract. If the Bulldogs perform on the field and in the classroom, the head coach gets handsomely rewarded.
So after a season when Fresno State goes 11-2 and wins the conference title while making the grade academically, those bonuses tend to get triggered. Like a pinball ricocheting off the bumper.
Football coaches are paid first and foremost to win games, so it makes sense DeRuyter's largest bonus is tied to the Bulldogs' 11-2 record. He'll get $225,000 for a winning percentage higher than 83%.
The Mountain West Conference championship is a big deal, too. For winning the title outright, DeRuyter nets $150,000.
The Las Vegas Bowl appearance will bring DeRuyter an extra $75,000. (Had the Bulldogs defeated USC, he would've gotten an extra $75,000. A win also would've triggered a $50,000 bonus for finishing in the BCS top 25.)
Add it up, and DeRuyter gets $450,000 in bonuses for on-the-field performance.
Now the academic side. Last June, the Bulldogs posted an Academic Progress Rate of 950. DeRuyter gets $100,000 for that. He also gets bonuses for the team's GPA and graduation rate, though Fresno State was unable to provide me with that information Friday afternoon.
Ignoring team GPA and graduation rates, DeRuyter earned a total of $550,000 in bonuses. Which brings his total compensation to $1.2 million. But he'd net $1.35 million if the Bulldogs hit the lowest standard (a team GPA in the 2.6s and graduation rate between 57-58%) in those categories.
Because I know you're curious, Fresno State's loss to San Jose State probably ended up costing DeRuyter $200,000. That's his bonus for reaching a BCS bowl. He'd get another $200,000 for winning it.
Fresno State and DeRuyter have been in talks about a new contract for weeks, and ideally something would've happened by now. It's prime recruiting season. An eight-day NCAA contact period opened Saturday, and another (Jan. 17 to Feb. 1) leads to national signing day.
So what's the holdup?
It shouldn't be base salary. Utilizing in-house talent, DeRuyter came in and transformed the Bulldogs from a four-win outfit into back-to-back conference champs.
Those accomplishments merit a big-boy contract. DeRuyter deserves better than the seventh-highest base salary in the MW. A bump from $650,000 to the $760,000 to $800,000 range (what New Mexico's Bob Davie and San Diego State's Rocky Long make) seems reasonable.
Fresno State surely can make that happen. During his first few months in office, President Joseph Castro pressed more flesh than a $20-an-hour masseuse. This is when it pays off.
Really, though, it's not about money. If a BCS school comes along and offers DeRuyter $3 million a year guaranteed, there's no way Fresno State can compete with that. Nor should it try.
But what Fresno State can do, and must do if it wants the football team to be successful year after year, is invest in those desperately needed program enhancements I wrote about in November.
Fresno State needs a training table to ensure players get proper nutrition. It needs a larger recruiting budget and salary pool for assistant coaches. It needs a bigger weight room with more staffing. It needs a snazzier locker room.
More than salary, these enhancements are how a university's commitment to football is measured. Because a training table and a fat recruiting budget make the program stronger no matter who's coaching. They help in years when there isn't a star quarterback.
Other MW schools understand this, and not just football-crazed Boise State. Colorado State is pouring money into its program. UNLV is making noise about a new stadium, one that isn't so far in the sticks and Nevada's will be renovated next year. Even San Jose State is constructing the 60,000-square foot Vermeil-Walsh Athletic Complex alongside Spartan Stadium.
Fresno State must keep pace, or it'll fall back.
Castro and Athletic Director Thomas Boeh better realize they have momentum on their side. Despite how it ended, 2013 was the most successful -- and exciting -- season of Bulldog football in more than a decade. This is the time to reinvest in the program that generated so much community pride and positive national attention.
I thought a deal would get done in December. It didn't, so that means there are still points that need to be resolved. If we're still talking about this when Fresno State faces USC again, then it's time to worry.
The columnist can be reached at (559) 441-6218, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MarekTheBee on Twitter.