You want to know why coaching salaries continue to rise? Jimmy Sexton will tell you.
Q: There has been a sharp increase in coaching salaries in the last 10 years. Did you see that coming?
A: Not really. People say, “How did you not see it coming?” I remember in the mid- to late-90s, the top salary was in the $1.2 to $1.3, $1.4 (million) range in college football. Now it’s three to four times that. I don’t know if I ever saw it coming like that. What you’ve got to look at … is that it coincides with the way the revenues expand. I’ve always said this over and over again — businesses won’t pay more than they can afford to pay, or they don’t stay in business very long. College sports, pro sports, they’re big businesses nowadays. They’re not going to pay more to a coach than they can afford to pay.
People say, “These salaries are out of whack.” Well, are they out of whack? Then why to they keep paying them? I think you’ve got to look at it that way. At some point if they get to be too much, they’ll stop paying them, but I don’t see an end in sight to it right now.
And you wonder why college presidents get their asses kicked by agents? One side sees this as business; the other wants to see it as an extension of academia. One side embraces the power of the market place; the other wrings their hands and rails against the laws of supply and demand. It’s not exactly a fair fight.