Timing is Everything with Rodney Terry Extension
Earlier today, word surfaced for the first time that UTEP men's basketball head coach Rodney Terry received a one year contract extension as part of his COVID salary reduction with the university. Fans were outraged and some immediately took to social media to voice their dissatisfaction with the news.
According to my sources, these pay cuts have been in the works since the summer. In fact, the original goal was to have them completed before the start of the athletic season, but unforeseen delays caused the amended documents to be processed after the first of the year. Had Erik Elken received the amended contracts after UTEP's win over Arizona State, most Miner fans would have been fine with the trade-off. However, since this story broke after the team has lost seven of their last nine games, the fan reaction was exactly as you would expect.
Since both Dana Dimel and Rodney Terry were being evaluated after their first two seasons, I can understand why Director of Athletics Jim Senter was hesitant to offer his head football coach a sixth year. However, despite a win increase from 8 to 17 and the highest NET ranking in the last five years, the 2019-20 Miners basketball season was not as rosy at it appeared on the surface. The team was off to a terrific start but they never recovered from internal issues during their trip to Hawaii. Based on the large turnover from last season's roster into the transfer portal, I am a little surprised that UTEP was willing to offer an extra year to Coach Terry. However, it much easier to second guess that decision now than it would have been on December 16th, 2020 after they knocked off the Sun Devils in Tempe for Rodney Terry's signature win as Miners head coach. Senter still believes that Terry and Dimel will be able to turn around both programs. Only time will tell to see if that's true and if Senter is around to see it.