Daily Archives: July 22, 2007

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem… or something like that.

With all the bemoaning of the rapid increase in college football assistant coaches’ salaries…

“Six years ago, I was making $55,000 at Notre Dame as a receivers coach,” Meyer said. “It’s driven by the market and we want to be one of the top 10 teams in the country and you need to have great assistant coaches. I am shocked (at what assistants now make) but that’s just part of the business.”

… perhaps it’s worth taking a look at the impact that one special man may have had on them.

“I think that, contrary to what a lot of people might think, a lot of this gets established by the escalating salaries in the NFL,” said new Alabama coach Nick Saban, who spent last season as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach. “When I was a defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns (1991-94) I made $200,000 a year. There are several coordinators now who make over $2 million a year in the NFL.”

Part of this revolution may be Saban’s fault.

Shortly after being hired by the Dolphins in 2005, Saban signed offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and offensive line coach Hudson Houck to three-year contracts worth about $2.5 million each. Most position coaches from the Dave Wannstedt era were to earn $225,000 in 2005.

And he wasn’t done. He pulled Charlie Baggeett from Minnesota by doubling his salary to $400,000.

The punchline?

To keep the best teachers, Saban feels, it’s only natural they should demand more money.

“At least our coordinators need to be competitive with what an assistant coach makes in that league,” he said. “Otherwise, I think we’ll lose all our coaches to that league . . . the market is created by the full body of all the leagues that compete for good people.”

“That league” sounds so impersonal, doesn’t it?

I’m not suggesting that Saban is solely responsible, of course. But it’s sure disingenuous on his part to suggest that he didn’t have a hand in it.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

This just in – football fans spend money.

Here’s a shocker: most SEC athletic departments raise lots of money.

Here are several more equally stunning revelations from the article: many athletic departments shade the truth about their budgets, Michael Adams is full of fecal matter and every higher up involved in collegiate athletics would give his or her right arm for some sort of antitrust exemption.

The only factoid worthy of note in the whole piece is the information that Virginia sports the third largest athletic budget in the country. Sheesh… talk about not getting your bang for the buck…

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UPDATE: And make sure you read this accompanying article about “The Flutie Effect”. The sad part is the complete circle that alleged critics of the business of college athletics wind up making with those they find fault:

The rapid rate of increased spending can’t end well for college athletics, particularly those at the mid-major level, Ridpath argues.

“It will eventually catch up with the Ohio States of the world, but that’s farther down the road,” he said. “It’s already caught up with the mid-major schools.”

The Drake Group has advocated government intervention in college athletics, such as revoking the tax-exempt status of college athletics departments or even an anti-trust exemption that would allow athletics directors to better control coaching salaries.

“It has shown no signs of abating,” Ridpath said. “I don’t know if they’re going to stop it. It’s kind of like the mob. We have to look somewhere above and beyond college athletics, because they have not shown the ability to check this themselves.”

Really, aside from the bombast, how different is this from things Miles Brand has said?

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Michael Adams Wants To Rule The World

“A Football Final Four”

Hmm.

The article may be true – who knows? – but it would have been a good deal more credible if any of the reporter’s sources had been willing to go on record by name.

My skepticism meter is also triggered by the fact that there is nothing in the article about how the Rose Bowl contract, which runs through 2014, will be handled so that this brave new world can be ushered in by 2011. That’s a rather significant road block.

In the end, this strikes me as more of an attempt similar to Bernie Machen’s, albeit less clumsy, to use the media to stir up momentum in bringing a playoff to D-1 football. It will be interesting to see if this winds up being any more successful.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles