Raleigh News and Observer Uses Knight Commission Database to Find “Coach Salaries Drive Bigger Athletic Budgets”

The Raleigh News and Observer used the Knight Commission Academic and Athletic Spending Database (spendingdatabase.knightcommission.org) to examine the growth in coaching salaries among public universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

According to the article, “the examination found a sharp escalation in coach compensation is a driving factor in athletic spending…

“The market has gone crazy,” said Diane Moose, NCSU senior associate athletic director and chief financial officer, “especially football and men’s basketball salaries.”

Many believe the increase in athletic spending is concerning in today’s environment. The article states: “At a time when faculty and staff at North Carolina’s public universities have seen little or no raises during and since the recession, coaches have enjoyed lucrative paydays…”

The article also quotes Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission:

“Knowing the salary data, and other trends in athletic budgets, is key to achieving responsible spending in college sports.

“We are at a time when all of U.S. higher education is under unprecedented pressure to be more transparent to the public and more accountable for the results it achieves, so college sports cannot expect to be immune to the same standards,’ she said.”

“The database unveiled this week is aimed at igniting a more informed discussion about the direction of the finances of college athletics, Perko said.”

The article further discusses recommendations of an independent panel initiated earlier this year by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after a series of athletic and academic scandals there. The panel “recommended that conferences and the NCAA explore spending caps for specific sports and incentives based on athletic-to-academic expense ratios to discourage excessive sports spending.” The panel was led by Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities.

The article adds: “So far, there’s been no movement by universities or conferences to implement those recommendations.”

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