There’s a lot to unpack from this USA Today article about the rapid increase in college football coordinator salaries.
First, what Lane Kiffin (or maybe more accurately Mike Hamilton) hath wrought:
… With many contracts being negotiated or finalized, nearly a dozen schools in the NCAA‘s 120-school Football Bowl Subdivision have made deals under which they will be spending at least 38% more on their offensive or defensive coordinator in 2010 than they did in 2009.
We’re familiar with one of the accused.
In 2009, two football assistants made more than $650,000: Kiffin ($1.2 million) and Muschamp ($900,000).
This year, assuming Kiffin did not take a massive pay cut from USC, six will be making at least $700,000.
National champion Alabama’s defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart, spurned an offer from Georgia before Grantham’s hiring and received a 108% raise to $750,000.
LSU’s John Chavis and South Carolina’s Ellis Johnson are making $700,000.
That’s right – half of the names on that list can thank Damon Evans and Mark Richt for their good fortune. I’m sorry, what was that you were saying about not making an effort to improve things in Athens?
Then there’s the keeping-up-with-the-Jones effort at Clemmins.
… Clemson increased the guaranteed compensation for its 10-man football coaching staff by more than 56%, from $2.6 million last season to $4.055 million.
In filings to the NCAA, Clemson’s athletic department reported annual budget deficits in 2008 and ’09.
Imagine how much the bump would have been if the Tigers had managed to beat Georgia Tech.
Toss in a little petulance on the academic side (actually, as things go, this is fairly reasonable sounding)…
Bill Surver, a biology professor and president-elect of Clemson’s faculty senate, said he spent time with Steele during a football team road trip on which several faculty members were invited. Surver also said he understands that when it comes to comparing general university spending and athletics spending “you’re dealing with separate budgets.”
Steele’s salary increase of $200,000, to $575,000, nevertheless makes him wince.
“I like Steele a lot,” Surver said. “He’s a nice guy. I hear good things about him from the players. The players seem to interact with him well. But, dammit, where does this end?”
Clemson’s AD has the answer to that one: “The problem is if you’ve got a very successful, highly popular coach, you’ve got a problem with the people that support that program.”
In other words, at schools like Clemson, it stops when you max out the credit card.