You know the crap the schools feed us about needing football revenue to support other sports?
Well, this is what they have in mind by that, at least in the SEC.
Johnson’s approach is being replicated across the Southeastern Conference as its members, flush with football money, begin to shower a healthy slice of the cash on basketball. This season alone, the conference welcomed several prominent coaches — not only Johnson but also Mississippi State’s Ben Howland, formerly of U.C.L.A. and Pittsburgh, and Tennessee’s Rick Barnes, formerly of Texas.
… But success will not come cheap. Alabama is paying Johnson $2.8 million per year through 2021, nearly $1 million more a year than it paid its previous coach, Anthony Grant, whose firing cost the Crimson Tide another few million. Howland’s salary is double that of his predecessor, Rick Ray. And where Auburn had paid Tony Barbee $1.5 million a year, it pays his replacement, Bruce Pearl, $2.45 million a year, in addition to a $500,000 bonus. (Pearl achieved success at Tennessee before the N.C.A.A. effectively suspended him for three years for lying in the course of an investigation into recruiting violations.)
It is no secret where the spare change comes from: The SEC Network, the College Football Playoff and conference expansion have all raised revenues, a large majority tied to football. From 2013 to 2014 — not including individualized revenue sources like ticket sales and donations — the conference’s take increased to $436.8 million, or $31.2 million per member, from $292.8 million, or $20.9 million per member.
All for the kids, of course.