From former Maryland great/US Congressman Tom McMillen (h/t The Daily Fix): “Why aren’t well-compensated coaches and others in athletic departments held accountable for the problems they leave behind?”
McMillen proposes something out of the Sarbanes-Oxley law he voted for while in Congress.
… Recently at a meeting of the Board of Regents at the University of Maryland, I suggested that it’s time to use the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as a model for college athletics. What Sarbanes-Oxley provided for public companies is a “clawback” provision — the ability to retract compensation, even after an executive has left a company.
We’ve seen this process work. In just one instance, two former executives of UnitedHealth Group Inc., accused of compensation abuse, agreed to give back over $600 million under the clawback provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley.
Why not have athletic directors and coaches face clawbacks too? If the NCAA imposes penalties for problems that existed during a coach or director’s employment, why not require them to return some salary and bonuses to the university — even if they have moved on to another job? After all, many coaches get bonuses for good academic performance by their teams, why shouldn’t there be penalties for poor performance?
If there were significant clawback provisions in the contracts for athletic directors and coaches as I proposed to our board of regents, I guarantee they would be more vigilant about what happens on their watch. Substantial financial incentives would encourage them to insure that rules are followed, that they wouldn’t be able to afford to look the other way…
Money do talk.