Keeping up with the big boys

One other thing about Wazzou’s hire of Mike Leach worth keeping an eye on:

… But an influx of money from the Pac-12’s new television contract may have changed the fortunes in Pullman, allowing Washington State to afford a proven winner.

Leach went 84-43 at Texas Tech before his firing two years ago. He replaces Paul Wulff, who made a Pac-12-low $600,000 per year and went 9-40 in four years, including 4-8 this season.

Washington’s State’s television revenue in 2012 will go from about $4 million to more than $16 million thanks to the $3 billion deal signed by Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. And the new revenue-sharing model puts Washington State, which is in remote eastern Washington, on a more even playing field with Pac-12 programs like Stanford, Southern California and Oregon. Arizona recently signed Coach Rich Rodriguez to a five-year deal worth about $10 million to replace Mike Stoops.

“For traditionally smaller-revenue schools, percentage-wise it’s going to be an astounding leap in their revenue starting next year,” Scott said Wednesday in a telephone interview.

Leach’s salary quadruples that of Wulff’s.  He’s also been given a much larger budget for assistant coaching salaries than his predecessor’s.  All because of TV money… regular season TV money, that is.

Two things about that.  First, Jimmy Sexton is happy.  More revenue means more money for schools to throw at coaches.  More competition over coaches’ salaries is never a bad thing for an agent.  Second, it’s just another sign of how the gap between the mid-majors and the rest of D-1 continues to grow.  WSU has had its share of success at times, but it’s not what you’d call a powerhouse program.  It sure gets to spend like one now, though.

And it’s not sharing the loot with San Jose State any time soon.


Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football

4 responses to “Keeping up with the big boys

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The PAC-Whatever is the perfect conference for Leach. Wassou has had success in the past (see the Mike Price era for example) and Leach’s offensive philosophy is a perfect fit there. If he can just open up a recruiting pipeline to California……..