Year2 nicely summarizes the history:
It was five season ago that Tennessee made Monte Kiffin the first assistant coach to make over $1 million per year. Five assistants made that much in 2014, with a sixth just $25,000 shy of the mark. That 2009 Tennessee assistant staff cost a then-record $3.325 million. Last season, 14 staffs made at least that much. In 2009, only six assistant coaches made at least half a million. This past season, 73 assistants made half a million or more. And that’s just what is public knowledge. Schools whose assistants’ salaries we don’t know like Notre Dame and Penn State almost certainly push two of those counts upwards.
Muschamp’s new deal feels like another watershed moment like Monte Kiffin breaking the million mark back in 2009. Consider Troy, which just hired former Kentucky OC Neal Brown as its head coach. Brown will make $660,000 per year and has a $1.2 million budget for assistant coaches. In total, that staff will cost $1.86 million. Muschamp will make nearly that by himself to be a coordinator at Auburn.
To repeat: an SEC assistant will make just $26,000 per year less than an entire Sun Belt coaching staff will make.
Those of you who believe that Butts-Mehre has everything on the compensation front under control… well, maybe you’re right. But I think you and McGarity are ignoring the obvious – the rising flood of money pouring into the P5 conferences from TV and the bar to paying any significant labor expenses due to NCAA rules means there’s more and more money looking to be spent somewhere. For schools like Auburn, LSU and Alabama, that’s gonna be on coaches and support staffs. Most troubling of all, the trend only seems to be accelerating.
It’s nice that Richt is willing to take a discount to coach in Athens. Maybe the rest of the staff is, too. The problem down the road is that if McGarity and his bosses expect anyone who coaches football at Georgia to accept a similar shave in compensation because it’s such a swell place to work, the labor pool probably isn’t going to be as full as they might expect. Will that be Butts-Mehre’s watershed moment? Or the fan base’s?