Kevin Stallings' 'raise' funded Vanderbilt's basketball trip

Way to go Coach Stallings. Vanderbilt stands out again for the right reasons, even though in this case basketball coach Kevin Stallings was hoping to keep this act of generosity quiet. Glad it got out.

The full article from The Tennessean can be found at, with an excerpt provided below.


Vanderbilt men’s basketball Coach Kevin Stallings paid for the Commodores’ trip to Australia by declining a $100,000 raise that was contractually due to him this summer.

He didn’t want any publicity. In fact, he wanted it kept quiet. But word eventually leaked.

“It’s a little embarrassing,” Stallings said.

“He set a benchmark that he never planned to set,” said David Williams, vice chancellor for university affairs and athletics. “In many ways, he’s trailblazing. But I don’t think he wants to be a trailblazer. I just think he wants to be Kevin.”

The NCAA permits teams to take an international trip every four years. Vanderbilt went to Spain in 2003 had been eligible to travel again since 2007. Stallings had been planning the Australia trip for some time and never thought money would be an issue.

“I can’t say there was a time when money was earmarked for the trip,” Stallings said. “I sort of assumed when time came it would be there.”

But every department at Vanderbilt had been asked to make 10-20 percent cuts in expenses. To avoid layoffs in athletics, Williams said his department cut by 20 percent. Raises were eliminated for all employees except those who were contractually owed them.

Couple that with a historic “no-loan” policy Vanderbilt implemented to provide grants for all qualifying students and the completion of The Commons, a new on-campus residential community, and discretionary funds were at a premium.

By the time Stallings and Williams addressed the trip in early spring, it was too late to seek donations. Some down payments had to be made in May. Williams decided against tapping into the central fund because it would be “very, very insensitive” in light of what was happening at the university.  (The article continues at