The good old days are just around the corner.

Two contrasting quotes from another have/have-not article on college athletics:

… Regarding fiscal decisions in athletics, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said universities would be best served by sticking to their own missions.

“I think the point here is that each institution has its own place in higher education, and to that extent, it has its own resources, its own areas of interest and emphasis,” Slive said. “One would hope that their focus would be on that as much as trying to be like other institutions.”

I’d settle for hoping that some people would remember what decade they’re living in.

… The escalation of coaching salaries was also a Knight Commission focus. Some reformers want to turn the athletic clock back to the 1950s — or at least the late 1970s — when there were no coaches making million-dollar salaries.

“If you go back several decades, it was quite common that coaches in many instances were considered members of the faculty and their salaries were comparable to other salaries within the university,” said Kirwan, a former president at Ohio State. “…That was true with Woody Hayes’ salary. That was an era that we feel there was a more appropriate balance.”

I keep thinking folks like Kirwan simply have a problem understanding basic economic theory.  Then I read quotes like that and realize they have issues that are deeper-seated.  Although that makes me wonder even more how these folks ever occupied positions of authority in the first place.


Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, It's Just Bidness

9 responses to “The good old days are just around the corner.

  1. bort

    From 2002 before joining the Univ of Maryland:

    When Kirwan returns in August, the incoming chancellor will become the highest-earning state employee.

    Kirwan will get a $15,430 pay raise, bringing his salary to $375,000, and a reported $100,000 in deferred compensation to offset lost pension income — the details of which the Board of Regents refused to disclose.

    He also will have use of Hidden Waters, the state-owned chancellor’s mansion worth more than $1 million, and be allowed to hold paid seats on boards of local corporations, a practice denied Langenberg.


  2. Dboy

    Many BCS confernce college football programs are the dominant revenue producers for the athletic department… Subsequently floating money losing sports. These football programs are run very much like a large corporation. The most reliable predictor of success, and therefore, revenue production is a stellar set of coaches. These coaches rightfully memand a small
    piece of that revenue. These “good old days” when coaches were paid like faculty members was before CFB was profitable. Much more like womens lacross, nowadays.


    • That’s the thing. Somehow I doubt Kirwan wants revenues to decline back to sixties’ levels. He just wants to spread the wealth differently.


      • 81Dog

        if by “differently,” you mean in the pockets of administrators, or at least for their benefit, then yes, I agree.

        I sure people like Chancellor Kirwan become apopleptic at the thought that some semi-literate trainer of barbarians makes millions, while a fearsome intellectual and power broker like him has to get by on less that 400 grand a year, plus perks and having his butt constantly smooched by faculty, and people who want him to get their kids into school.

        It’s not a football program to these guys, or even an athletic program. It’s a revenue stream, and to the extent the stream isn’t flowing into an account he has complete control over, it’s an outrage (to him).

        I guess Mr. Kirwan won’t mind skipping all those Thursday night games or late Saturday games or noon games, so the Terps can play at 1pm, as God intended. Foregoing all the filthy lucre tossed out by ESPN and ABC will make everyone feel better about the academic mission of the school, I am sure. Because, it’s ultimately all about what’s best for the kids, right, Chancellor?


      • Dboy

        I would tell him, good luck with that project. Seems like such a clueless quote or perhaps, he just wants us to think he is clueless. Either way, it’s supreme case of wishful thinking.


  3. Chuck

    “If you go back several decades, it was quite common that coaches in many instances were considered members of the faculty and their salaries were comparable to other salaries within the university,” said Kirwan,…

    You might be surprised what some faculty members make even at a state school like UGA. Professors – particularly in Business and the research sciences – make a lot in just salary and many benefit from privately funded chairs. I am not saying that it is exactly the same thing as a coaches salary, but if you are good enough or famous enough, the dough ain’t that far off anyway. Now, if you had to go by an English professor or History professor, well you couldn’t hire a good HS coach for that money. The world is inherently unequal, even within a given institution. If you want to limit coaches salaries to what faculty members make which ones do you choose? For that matter, why not just say all faculty members have to get the same pay at each school within a University and across the country? Why limit the free market to coaches?


  4. baltimore dawg

    whenever university presidents have to defend their own huge salaries that have similarly outpaced the growth of other expenditures, they always plead “market forces.” they understand economics perfectly well when the subject supports an argument they wish to make.

    university presidents can fundamentally “reform” collegiate athletics in all of the ways they claim are necessary whenever they choose to through their own use of the word “no.” no, we won’t get into a bidding war for the coach-of-the-month. no, we won’t charge our students a fee to close the gap between what athletics generates and what it expends. no, we won’t float a bond to build a basketball practice facility right now rather than a new chem lab.

    but you never hear presidents saying those things, even at universities where athletics is never a profit center (which is all of them save about a dozen on a year-to-year basis).


    • 81Dog

      it’s funny how university administrators seem to understand “market forces” when they need to up tuition, their own paychecks, their own perks, remodel their own palatial offices or official residences. It’s just when the ruffians on the athletic fields, who generate huge sums, are getting paid market rates that suddenly, the tail is wagging the proverbial academic dog.

      you’re absolutely right, though. All they have to do to stop it is give back the tv money, quit gouging alums for parking, tickets, concessions, pull the scholarships (works for the Ivys, right?), fancy training facilities, and just put up a signup sheet for whatever sport is in season about a month before the season starts. They’ll get “real students,” coaches will get paid peanuts, everyone wins, right? Bleah.

      these hypocrites want the cash that goes with big time college sports, they just want to keep coaches on the peon train along with the players. Good luck with that one, Chancellor.