College coaches’ salaries hit all-time high
by CARL LANGLEY
The 2012 pay for 124 Division I college coaches averages $1.64 million dollars.
The price tag for a quality university coach to bring success to the neighborhood’s football program has soared 70 percent in the last six years.
Since Alabama’s Nick Saban received that incredible $32.8 million to come from the pro ranks to take the reins of the Crimson Tide, other university alum decided they wanted more successful winning programs, so they out-vote the college administration, who are fighting to keep good faculty in place.
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is one of those head coaches making $2 million annually, though he could be making more – a lot more.
Swinney has begun a new revolution for assistant coaches and has triggered raises by clauses in his contract to his assistants, adding hundreds of dollars to another branch of the sports – assistant coaches.
Six years ago, 42 major-college football head coaches made at least $1 million a year. Today, 42 make at least $2 million.
“Part of my philosophy is, I’ve got this money that was due me, and I don’t need it,” Swinney says. “I make plenty of money. Why can’t I choose to invest some of that money in what we’re trying to do as a program?”
The result is that Swinney is the nation’s 39th most highly paid head coach, and his assistants, who carry a total price tag of $4.2 million, appear to be the nation’s mostly highly paid staff.
The average annual staff for head coaches at major colleges (not including four schools who just moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision this season) is $1.64 million, up nearly 12 percent from last year.
Coaches’pay has even outpaced the pay of corporate executives, who have drawn the anger of Congress and the public because of their staggering compensation packages. We can also mention that it has attracted the attention of college professors who feel that some of that compensation should come their way.
It all points to the nation’s highest priorities in the order that sports fans see it and condone it.
Alabama’s St. Nick is the highest paid at $5.5 million and by rights should win the national championship every year. He is one of the four SEC coaches among the top eight highest paid in the nation.
Texas head coach Mac Brown of the dying Big 12 is the second highest paid, scooping up $5.4 million per year.
This rapid and continuing escalation in coaches’ pay comes at a time when instructional spending has declined at many public schools, including Clemson, because of shrinking state education budgets.
The plain truth about this phenomenon is that several coaches are embarrassed within themselves.
“It’s not really right,” said ex-Texas high school coach Chad Morris, who is earning more than 10 times what he was getting three years ago as a prep coach in Austin. Now he earns $1.3 million as the highest assistant football coach in America.
Something is really wrong with that picture and many more, but we can’t change it without a war against right and wrong, what is just or unjust.
I love football like the next good football man or woman, but one day this well of wealth will go dry and some sponsor will say, “I’m can’t pay that price to advertise on TV.”
Another will say, “I’ve had it, we’re not paying that salary – win or lose.”
Yet another will sound off, “Show me how my dollar to you which is making you richer, will help me survive.”
All will be valid points.For the complete story and more local news, please subscribe to Jennings Daily News by clicking subscribe or by calling 337-824-3011.
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