Time Out on Salaries for Coaches

On August 18, 2009, the Orlando Sentinel ran an opinion about the escalating costs of coaches salaries, particularly the salaries of major college football coaches. The opinion notes the 2001 report from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which at the time called coaching salaries a “glaring symptom of the arms race run amok.” As stated in the opinion, the report sounded an alarm because in 2001, about 30 college football and basketball coaches made more than $1 million per year. In 2009, “twice that many football coaches top the million-dollar mark — never mind basketball. One assistant coach at the University of Tennessee makes $1.2 million per year.”

The opinion stated, “and it’s only going to get worse, in part because the leadership at universities across the country is letting it happen, even encouraging it. And we’re not just talking powerhouses with national championship credentials.” In contrasted with the $1 million-plus salary of University of Central Florida football coach George O’Leary with Deborah German, the UCF College of Medicine dean, “who led an unprecedented scholarship campaign and who built a medical school from scratch, is making $404,000 a year.”

While it is noted that boosters and other private funds help to support coaches salaries, it also states that is symbolic of misshaped priorities in higher education. The paper concludes, “There simply isn’t a legitimate justification for coaches making so much, and it won’t end until university presidents and trustees get their priorities straight.”

For the full opinion, link here.