“But, dammit, where does this end?”

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.

Georgia has agreed to pay former Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham $750,000 to be its defensive coordinator; that’s 130% more than it paid Willie Martinez, who was fired.

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.



Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

4 responses to ““But, dammit, where does this end?”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    What’s the source of funds for the deficit spending? Are they borrowing? Do they have reserves? Are they receiving general university funds?


  2. Gen. Stoopnagle

    Yeah, I wonder if Clemson is getting state money for its athletic department? We often forget that UGA is one of the very few ath. depts turning a profit.


  3. Macallanlover

    I am against deficit spending in my private life, and have little sympathy for it with public institutions so it is easy for me to suggest Clemson live within their means. But it is complicated by Big Brother’s intervention in a matter that should not be their call. I doubt Clemson’s FOOTBALL program is in the red, it is the AD operating at a deficit. With Big Brother mandating Clemson, and all other universities, continue programs that forever, and continually, lose money who is at fault?

    Clemson is deciding they need to pay coordinators more to remain competitive and keep the Golden Goose, football, healthy enough to support the losing programs they must maintain due to Title IX programs they have little control over. (In fairness, there are men’s programs that are financial drains as well, but the AD has the flexibility to cut where they wish on those programs.) Tough call for them, and most other schools who are not profitable in the overall athletic budget. Professors have little to stand on with their complaints when they AD is making money, but the case is legit when the AD is overspending. Looks like the I Pay Ten A Year (IPTAY) is due for some arm twisting, the alums may have to come up with a hundred to make this work. Of course they could save some money by cutting back on those god-awful purple unis they came up with in the last 15 years….on second thought, get rid of the all orange ones too!