By Steve Wieberg, USA Today
A faculty watchdog group sounded an alarm Tuesday over a $420,000 compensation package for a Kansas State assistant basketball coach, saying it represents a "new day" in the escalation of college coaches' salaries.
"Higher education should quickly rethink the merits of this professional athletics model," the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics said in a statement, "before it becomes a benchmark for the next round of athletic budget escalation and further separation of athletics from academics."
The group, representing 56 major-college faculty senates, has become a voice for reform in college athletics.
Dalonte Hill became one of the nation's best-paid assistants when K-State made him the Wildcats' associate head coach in April 2007 for an annual $150,000 in salary and an additional $250,000 for media appearances and other services. The five-year contract raises his auxiliary compensation to $270,000 annually starting this coming season.
Hill, starting his third season at the school, arrived as an assistant to Bob Huggins and was promoted to associate head coach when Huggins left for West Virginia and was replaced by top assistant Frank Martin. Hill is best known for his close ties to superstar forward Michael Beasley — dating to their ties to a Washington, D.C., summer program — whom he recruited to Kansas State.