They fought the law, and the law won.

So, there’s this.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards believes that multimillion- dollar college football coaching salaries are “obscene” and a cap to limit them should be in place.

Edwards, during a meeting with The Advocate editorial board last week, expressed his concern over escalating staff salaries that have “gotten out of control.” Louisiana’s flagship college football program, LSU, is one of the country’s leaders in football staff spending.

In addition to the 2017’s staff price tag of $9.4 million, the university is paying four staff members who are no longer employed at the school, including a remaining buyout of about $7 million to former coach Les Miles.

The money is generated by the athletic department through private funds, rather than state funds.

“I am concerned. I’m not as concerned as I would be if those were tax dollars being spent,” Edwards said. “I do think that there has to be some look nationally at some sort of salary caps for the organizations. This is an arms race, and it’s gotten out of control. Some of the salaries and buyouts are obscene, and they can create all sorts of problems.

It’s a notion that’s cited approvingly in this SB Nation piece.  There’s only one problem:  a salary cap imposed on coaches by the NCAA is an antitrust violation.  That’s not speculation on my part, either.  The NCAA has already lost once on that front.

A Federal jury in Kansas awarded more than $66 million yesterday to 1,900 assistant college coaches whose salaries were found to have been illegally restricted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The penalty, which included more than $22 million in back wages, penalties and legal fees that were tripled under Federal antitrust law, was by far the largest court assessment against the association, which regulates and administers major intercollegiate sports.

The verdict came after five years of often tortuous legal wrangling, in which the coaches contended that a blanket rule imposed by the N.C.A.A. in 1992 to restrict the salaries of certain assistant coaches to $12,000 for an academic year had stifled competition and deprived them of fair market wages.

Whether an individual conference could impose such a restraint legally is a different question, I suppose, given that conferences compete with each other.  Maybe Governor Edwards could push Greg Sankey into taking the lead on that.  I’m sure it’ll take off quickly.

Let’s face it, folks.  The reason coaching salaries continue to rocket skyward isn’t because of Jimmy Sexton.  It’s because we’re nuts about college football.  All of us.  Collectively.

21 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, See You In Court

21 responses to “They fought the law, and the law won.

  1. And because the players’ comp is capped by a cartel

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  2. Gravidy

    Coach salaries are astronomical because big-time college football programs generate astronomical amounts of revenue and because they don’t have to pay their players very much in comparison.

    I wonder if Governor Edwards wants to put a cap on the cost of television contracts and ticket prices. Hell, I should just shut up. I don’t want to give him any more ideas.

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  3. Debby Balcer

    So it is ok with him if CEOs in other industries make astronomical salaries just not football coaches? Football is not the only place the man on top is over compensated and has a golden parachute.

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    • DawgPhan

      People also complain about CEO pay. I dont know if he specifically has a an issue with it, but I bet he does have an issue with a non-profit ceo making millions as well.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      I take exception with state employees earning 6 figure salaries, such as Governor Edwards. At least private employees do something productive.

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  4. Jason

    Players want to play for the best coaches. The coaches that will win the most games. Thats a recruiting cost.

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  5. atlasshrugged55

    It’s called capitalism. If you don’t like it you’re always free to not buy tickets to go to games or not pay for cable/satellite to watch.

    It’s great to have the freedom to make those choices. Too bad the governor chose to whine instead.

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  6. the first minute or so of the video here (British dude on the sidelines at the Iron Bowl) is pretty telling…… http://www.dvorak.org/blog/2011/08/21/a-brits-eye-view-of-american-college-football/

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  7. Uglydawg

    I think it’s crazy. But it will eventually police itself.
    What I’m concerned about is the obscene amount of money elected officials make.which IS tax dollar, ..with pensions for life…. not to mention the bribes (US Senate) many get from lobbyist.
    (not trying to turn this into a pol discussion, but keep draining that filthy swamp..The whole federal govt. system seems corrupt and self serving, and I mean both and all sides. And the Gov. of Louisiana needs to work on that which he can effect, which is plenty.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek

      I was recently talking to a career government employee who was leaving for the private sector.

      I was shocked at how low the pension benefits were. Less than half of what they once were 15 years ago.

      Inasmuch as you may think 185k or so is too high for lifetime judicial appointments and elected congressmen, I’d say that we need higher quality people seeking those jobs. If that’s a raise for you OR if you’re so rich you don’t need any salary, chances are that 1) you’re not a very good ______ and 2) that your interests don’t intersect with common folks.

      There was a headline this week that 82% or so of all new wealth created last year landed in the bank accounts of the 1%.

      We have a legalized kleptocracy. It is a government of, for and by the rich and it doesn’t matter who wins every 4 years. Any incremental change that would create fairness for the middle class is resisted at all costs when one party is in charge and when the other is in charge the plan is to benefit their financiers hence the huge tax cut for the you know who.

      You want to help that growing disparity which is ripping the country in two, stop pointing at the “deep state” folks making 150k a year and look at those who write checks in that amount to attend a campaign dinner.

      The scapegoating regular folks has got to stop. The richest 1% paying less in marginal income in taxes than their secretaries has to stop. Those folks enjoy great riches that are secured by the blood sweat and tears of people they will likely never interact with. Its way past time for them to pick up the ck. Its also way past time for regular folks to be pitted against each other as if the wealth inequity referenced above is caused by a undocumented fruit picker or a some alleged “welfare queen.” At that point your picking up pennies while billions are going in the bank accounts of those at Goldman Sachs. Its willful blindness.

      I want them making money. Wealth is a wonderful thing and we never want to put a wet blanket on aggressive wealth seeking However, I don’t want them to have more political power than you because of it and I do think the people that benefit the most from the status quo should bear the greatest burden in terms of costs.

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      • Faulkner

        Derek-
        I think I just found some common ground with you. I really wish we could dress our “reps” like Nascar drivers. Then we would know who they really work for.

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      • Uglydawg

        Pretty much in agreement..I was referring mainly to elected positions..esp. US Congress. .

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        • Derek

          I hear ya. From my perspective though, who we have are dumb enough. Running for office, like a lot of life decisions, is at least partially an economic one. It seems to me that we’ve invited a lot of idiots or well heeled ideologues into politics and I don’t think making the benefits lesser will do much but it will aggravate that. In my view an ideologue is worse than an idiot because he takes his stupidity seriously.

          We have to understand that 1) a politician’s sole function is to keep his job and 2) that making those positions less attractive finiancially means that the pool of candidates will include mainly people who will make the absolute worst of that calculus.

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      • Napoleon BonerFart

        You’re half right. The huge government with nearly unlimited power to pick winners and losers and reward cronies is a big problem for most citizens. But the solution isn’t to staff said government with politicians and regulators who may be slightly less corrupt than the last ones. The true solution is to take back the power.

        If the Clarke County dogcatcher is corrupt, so what? It doesn’t really matter to most of us. He doesn’t have much power. It’s incredibly naive to argue that, since he’s corrupt, let’s replace him and give his replacement much more power in the hope that things will improve.

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  8. I do have concern about all of these top G5 schools (looking at you UCF) pulling out all the stops to play top level football………including a subsidy of around $26M annually to do so. Not sure which year this was, but sort this list by the “Total Allocated” column and take a look at what some of these G5 programs receive from the University at large. The idea that these schools should be entitled to big time football or everyone else is just a mean jerk is where we have gone towards crazy.

    http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/

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    • What in the he77 could possibly be the benefit of the state of Alabama (UAB) forking over $20million to have a football team at an urban commuter school play games in front of 8k fans in the most god forsaken stadium in America. Why is that a worthwhile expenditure ?

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  9. steve

    Gov Edwards will lose his voice when LSU beats Ala, Aub, the Miss’s and UF in the same season. It suddenly becomes a ‘smart investment’.

    Besides, those big scooters are expensive to replace according to BobbyP.

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  10. Captain Obvious

    Obviously, Jimmy Sexton is not Gov. John Bel Edwards agent……

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  11. 69Dawg

    Just got off a webcast covering the new tax law. Shit is about to get real. The 80% deduction for contributions to buy tickets is just the tip of the iceberg. According to the CPA’s unless a corporation is an official sponsor of an event (sports or entertainment) nothing they spent to entertain clients will be deductible, no suites, no tailgates, nothing.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Sounds like sponsorships are about to get more competitive (and lucrative).

      Smaller businesses need not apply.

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  12. Ozam

    While there is clearly a supply and demand element with college football coaching salaries, one cannot ignore the fact that ADs are playing with other people’s money. In reality there is little accountability and agents are playing ADs like rented mules.

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