Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
The "Numbing Down" of College Coaches' Compensation

1999.  I think that was the year that "amateurism" officially died because it marked the beginning of the stratospheric rise in college football coaches' salaries.  Believe it or not, in that year, which is only fifteen years ago, a mere FIVE head coaches in ALL of college football were making $1 million.  By 2007, at least fifty college football coaches were making $1 million and at least twelve were making $2 million.  By 2008, one college football coach broke the $4 million mark, at least seven other football coaches had broken the $3 million mark, and twenty-three were making $2 million.  By 2009, two additional coaches broke the $4 million mark and at least sixty-nine coaches were making $1 million or more.

And it is now 2014.  USA Today's Steve Berkowitz, who has been tracking college coaches' salaries through the years, yesterday wrote that Nick Saban inked a deal that pays him a whopping $6.9 million annually through 2022!  Through 2022???  Large cap multi-billion dollar publicly-traded corporations don't even give their top executives that length of an employment contract!  Moreover, the nine full-time assistant coaches at Alabama will earn just under $5.2 million, combined.  Out in Texas, Berkowitz noted that Charlie Strong will make $5 million for the 2014 season and get the benefit of the University of Texas paying a $4.375 million buyout of his contract with Louisville, and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin will make $5 million in 2014 under a new six-year deal he signed this past December.

We have officially been "numbed down" by what many critics five years ago were characterizing as eye-popping, mind-boggling and breathtaking coaches' compensation that is funded with tax-exempt revenue and, therefore, subsidized by taxpayers.  I was one of those critics five years ago when I wrote about the economic implications of the "coaching carousel" and I admit that I too have now, unfortunately, just become numb to it.


Post a Comment