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OldSchoolLion

Is A College Coach Worth $10 Million Per Year?

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Dabo Swinney is now the highest-paid coach in college football.  Swinney and Clemson have agreed to a 10-year contract extension worth $93 million. The total value of Swinney’s contract surpasses the $75 million over 10 years that Texas A&M gave Jimbo Fisher a year ago and averages out to more per year than the $8.3 million Alabama coach Nick Saban made in 2018.

...yet we have students graduating college with massive debt and college athletes going to bed hungry.  What's wrong with this picture?  

 

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In 2015, Swinney made the following statement  “As far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me.  I’ll go do something else because there’s enough entitlement in this world as there is.”

If college football players are truly amateurs, why do they need a coach who makes $8-10 million per year to coach them? 

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This is why the NCAA and the schools are losing the PR battle regarding protecting "amateur" status.

If you are going to pay everyone else like a professional, but the player then there is a real problem. 

If you paid the head coaches like a professors and the massive coaching staffs like assistant professors, so be it. Otherwise, the NCAA has lost me. Let me go further and say that every university that assesses an "athletic" fee and turns around and pays coaches these stupid sums of money have no shame and should be forced to pay ALL of their players. 

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Nothing wrong with Dabo making that kind of money, he’s at the top of his profession. Not sure how his salary breaks down as far as what the state pays or boosters but that would be the only rub. As for the players not getting paid that’s a whole other issue. No one makes a kid go to college to play football. They could go play in the CFL if they didn’t want to go to college and be “used”. The NFL has had their rules in place for years regarding being 3 years removed from high school before they can play. It has nothing to do with college football. College football happens to have always been the feeder for kids wanting to go to the NFL. People complain they should get paid, well go to the CFL and get paid. The problem with that is they don’t see that to be a better option to reach the NFL despite the pay. Universities offer a education that allows kids to obtain jobs that will pay them for the rest of their lives. I would guess that 85% of these kids would not go to college without these scholarships. Let’s assume that people without a degree make a average of 40k a year from 25-65. Now assume people with a degree make 55k a year in the same time. That’s a difference of 600k in their life. So now ask the question did they receive compensation for playing football?

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So are my hard-earned tax dollars paying these coaches?

Probably not. The bulk of this coaching money—especially at the big football schools—is paid out of the revenue that the teams generate.

So what's the problem then? These guys make tons of money for their schools; shouldn't they be paid accordingly?

There are at least three problems.

  1. Coaches don't generate revenue on their own; you could make the exact same case for the student-athletes who actually play the game and score the points and fracture their legs.
  2. It can be tough to attribute this revenue directly to the performance of the head coach. In 2011-2012, Mack Brown was paid $5 million to lead a mediocre 8-5 Texas team to the Holiday Bowl. The team still generated $103.8 million in revenue, the most in college football. You don't have to pay someone $5 million to make college football profitable in Texas.
  3. This revenue rarely makes its way back to the general funds of these universities. Looking at data from 2011-2012, athletic departments at 99 major schools lost an average of $5 million once you take out revenue generated from "student fees" and "university subsidies." If you take out "contributions and donations"—some of which might have gone to the universities had they not been lavished on the athletic departments—this drops to an average loss of $17 million, with just one school (Army) in the black. All this football/basketball revenue is sucked up by coach and AD salaries, by administrative and facility costs, and by the athletic department's non-revenue generating sports; it's not like it's going to microscopes and Bunsen burners.

But wait. I looked up my coach's pay in a state salary database and he wasn't on top. What gives?

Most of these databases include only the coaches' base salaries, which are drawn directly from the state fund. This is how you could be led to believe that Virginia's offensive coordinator earns more than its head coach.

Far exceeding these base salaries is the "additional compensation" that almost all of these coaches receive, which is tied to media appearances, apparel contracts, and fundraising. While this compensation does not come directly from the state fund it is guaranteed in the coaches' contracts; if revenue falls short, the school—and thus the state—is on the hook to cover the difference. Plus, even it doesn't come directly from taxpayers, this compensation is still problematic for all the reasons listed above.

Beyond salary and additional compensation, coaches earn money from bonus incentives tied primarily to the team's performance. This analysis ignored those bonuses and focused on guaranteed money, as it's impossible to guess at whether a coach will hit his benchmarks. And we're not even touching the ridiculous amounts of money coaches can get if they're fired before their contract ends.

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...a recent example of what colleges are actually paying for their head coaches.  We were blown away at the time that Texas' new coach would be making over $5 million per year.  In reality, Texas was paying over $12 million that year.  This is how.  

Texas was in effect paying, or at least helping to pay, three head coaches one  season. There was its own first-year head coach, Tom Herman, whom it hired away from Houston. Herman’s first-year salary of $5.25 million catapulted him into the top tier of college coaches in only his third season in charge of a program.

Then there was Texas’ previous coach, Charlie Strong. The university fired Strong three years into a five-year contract, requiring Texas to pay him about $5.2 million for each of the remaining two seasons. Strong’s contract obligated him to try to mitigate his buyout with a new job, which he did, getting hired as the coach at the University of South Florida. But South Florida wisely structured Strong’s contract to take advantage of Texas’ obligation, paying him just $1 million in each of his first two years before kicking in a large raise once Strong leaves the Texas payroll. His South Florida compensation knocked $500,000 off Texas’ annual contribution, meaning the Longhorns paid him about $4.7 million this year and the following.

Finally, Texas was also effectively subsidizing the salary of Houston’s new coach, Major Applewhite. As a condition of Herman’s contract with Houston, he owed the Cougars $2.5 million for breaking his deal to take the new job. But Texas assumed that obligation and, according to the Houston athletic director’s reported remarks, declined Houston’s offer to make up that deficit by scheduling home-and-home series in basketball and football. The lump sum Texas paid took care of nearly two years of Applewhite’s $1.5 million salary

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15 hours ago, OldSchoolLion said:

In 2015, Swinney made the following statement  “As far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me.  I’ll go do something else because there’s enough entitlement in this world as there is.”

If college football players are truly amateurs, why do they need a coach who makes $8-10 million per year to coach them? 

He does not want them paid because there would be less for him. The story is as old as humanity.

Given the short careers of football players in particular, they absolutely should be paid to play in college. Either that, or they should be eligible for the NFL draft a year after graduating high school. As things stand, the average NFL career is no longer than the average college career. That's a very small window to get real money. 

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Many coaches are "protected" via contract if they lose their jobs.  Players have no such protection.  

"But they have their college degrees."  The number of college and NFL players who actually graduate is surprisingly low.  And how many of us know someone with a college degree who is living with their parents because they cannot afford to live off their salary and tips waiting tables. 

To equate a general studies or PE degree with "salary protection" for one's lifetime is a tremendous stretch.  And school does not teach a kid from the hood how to manage money, so even if a player banks a few million for the few years he plays in the NFL, there's a good chance it won't last.  How many stories along these lines have we heard?  If managing money was common sense, we would not have budget deficits and most of the country living paycheck to paycheck.   

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So now it’s the schools fault a kid get a degree that isn’t very profitable or one that isn’t in high demand? So who is exactly responsible for someone blowing their money? I mean I happen to believe that we are all responsible for our actions, good or bad. In response to Darter, I agree that they should allow a kid the opportunity to go pro immediately if they choose to. However I believe if they choose to go to school they should have to stay 3 years, much like college baseball. 

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13 minutes ago, Captain Morgan said:

So now it’s the schools fault a kid get a degree that isn’t very profitable or one that isn’t in high demand? So who is exactly responsible for someone blowing their money? I mean I happen to believe that we are all responsible for our actions, good or bad. In response to Darter, I agree that they should allow a kid the opportunity to go pro immediately if they choose to. However I believe if they choose to go to school they should have to stay 3 years, much like college baseball. 

IMO, it is their "fault" when they give a scholarship to a kid who in reality has the equivalent of a grade-school education and has no business in college to begin with.  It is not necessarily the kid's fault he cannot get a pre-med or engineering degree if he was shuttled through hs because of his athletic skills and/or went to D+ hs that poorly prepared him for college.  Giving such a kid a college degree is like giving a 12 year-old a car.   

If you have grown up around extreme poverty, I am sure you are aware what often happens when people in such dire circumstances get some money.  Some of these players who crash in the NFL grew up under such circumstances with nobody to teach them basic life skills like managing money.  Easy for others to judge until they walk in another man's shoes.    

 

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How about we actually blame who is responsible for a kid being in that situation, the parents. Now I understand your point and actually agree with you on most of what you say above.  However giving the kid money in college isn’t going to help any of those things you mentioned. It only masks the problem at hand. In reality what you are proposing is, saying college a minor league per say, and lets not even attend class because you aren’t getting a education anyway. We will pay you while you attend here preparing for you next job the NFL, which a very low number will make and if you do make it you will blow your money in a few years anyway.  

I think fundamentally we agree with a lot of the problems that exist but until we begin to address the root of the problem we will continue to have them. In my opinion parents (or lack of parents) depend on schools to raise their kid. But that is a whole separate rabbit hole to chase. 

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On 4/27/2019 at 11:13 AM, OldSchoolLion said:

If managing money was common sense, we would not have budget deficits and most of the country living paycheck to paycheck. 

Sometimes I think it's deliberate that such skills are not taught in school. As to our budget deficit and national debt situation, we, as a country get away with it because of the dollar's status as the primary reserve currency. If and when that changes, we will be in for a rude awakening as our economic situation will worsen dramatically. 

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16 minutes ago, DarterBlue2 said:

Sometimes I think it's deliberate that such skills are not taught in school. As to our budget deficit and national debt situation, we, as a country get away with it because of the dollar's status as the primary reserve currency. If and when that changes, we will be in for a rude awakening as our economic situation will worsen dramatically. 

At least as adults we are paid money and, in essence, given the option as to how to use it, ie pay the bills or blow it on stupid stuff.  No doubt if college athletes were given the option of money or a free education, some would choose the money and blow it...just like some adults blow their salaries. 

And just like some adults, some college athletes would use the money responsibly.  However, college football players aren't given that option.  The premise is that there is a payoff down the road, either through an NFL contract or a higher salary(than without a degree).  That's fine and dandy if someone is able to survive comfortably now.  As we all know, some of these kids have immediate needs to support their families.  Don't talk to me about that great salary I'll earn 4 years from now when my mother and younger siblings are going to bed hungry tonight.  That's the real irony.   

Nobody forces the kids to choose college, per se, but some likely have no better option, so, in a matter of speaking, are forced to go to college and work for their education...possibly because we do such a poor job of providing options to kids in impoverished areas and/or educating them about other options.     

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Just curious, but how many high school seniors are ready for the NFL vs NBA vs MLB. The NFL doesn't have a developmental league or minor league system the way the NBA, MLB, or NHL have, so that means they have to be good enough to make the 53 man roster or at least the practice squad straight of high school. 

In the NBA with a greater focus on general athleticism and skills, I think a high school senior could compete (most can't). In the NFL, I think that there number might be 1 guy a year (most likely a kicker). 
 

Coaches shouldn't be paid the sums they are paid (pay them the average tenured university professor salary with assistants being assistant professor salaries). See how long these coaches sing the praise of amateur status then. 

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On 4/26/2019 at 7:31 PM, OldSchoolLion said:

Dabo Swinney is now the highest-paid coach in college football.  Swinney and Clemson have agreed to a 10-year contract extension worth $93 million. The total value of Swinney’s contract surpasses the $75 million over 10 years that Texas A&M gave Jimbo Fisher a year ago and averages out to more per year than the $8.3 million Alabama coach Nick Saban made in 2018.

...yet we have students graduating college with massive debt and college athletes going to bed hungry.  What's wrong with this picture?  

 

The hungry playas shoulda played for Colquitt county! And except in few instances, a 21st Century college degree, is WORTHLESS! Today's professors don't educate a student for gainful employment!

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On 4/29/2019 at 11:04 AM, gatorman-uf said:

Just curious, but how many high school seniors are ready for the NFL vs NBA vs MLB. The NFL doesn't have a developmental league or minor league system the way the NBA, MLB, or NHL have, so that means they have to be good enough to make the 53 man roster or at least the practice squad straight of high school. 

In the NBA with a greater focus on general athleticism and skills, I think a high school senior could compete (most can't). In the NFL, I think that there number might be 1 guy a year (most likely a kicker). 
 

Coaches shouldn't be paid the sums they are paid (pay them the average tenured university professor salary with assistants being assistant professor salaries). See how long these coaches sing the praise of amateur status then. 

Which high school kicker have you seen, who could compete for a job in the NFL? We had one of the top kickers in the country last season! And he got ONE major college offer, to FSU!

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On 4/28/2019 at 1:01 PM, DarterBlue2 said:

Sometimes I think it's deliberate that such skills are not taught in school. As to our budget deficit and national debt situation, we, as a country get away with it because of the dollar's status as the primary reserve currency. If and when that changes, we will be in for a rude awakening as our economic situation will worsen dramatically. 

Money skills, to my knowledge, have NEVER been taught IN SCHOOL! Those skills were learned my yours truly, by working after school, on weekends, and in the summer! You find out pretty quickly, that money DOESN'T, in fact, grow on trees! And you learn the value of a buck, and how to stretch it to meet yours, or your family's financial obligations. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for experience!

 

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