“There’s going to have to be some sort of systemic intervention…”

So, what happens when you get a former P5 university president sitting in Congress?  Shit happens.

A proposed federal law is the latest — and perhaps most powerful — attempt seeking to limit spiraling salaries among college coaches. The possibility of an anti-trust exemption emerging from that law would allow schools to limit or cap those salaries with the creation of a national commission that would aim to reform college athletics.

“I’m mortified at these salaries,” said House Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), sponsor of the CACIA Act of 2019. “We have not been able to slow spending or expenditures.”

The bill introduced last month would establish the Congressional Advisory Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics (CACIA) “to investigate the relationship between institutions of higher education and intercollegiate athletic programs.”

Most of the national attention for the proposed bill has centered around increased oversight of sexual assault by the NCAA regarding athletes. However, the bill contains a provision that would examine “the amount of funds expended on coaching salaries …”

Her motivation is exactly what you’d expect.

Shalala said that the SEC pursued Miami in expansion talks in the early 2000s while she was president of the university.

“We just could not compete with their [coaching] salaries,” Shalala said.

Miami eventually left the Big East for the ACC.

Jimmy Sexton 1, Donna Shalala 0.  Now, it’s revenge time.  This is what passes for high end economics theory.  And, this, too:

“There has to be some constraints because it’s just gotten out of control or, legally, we’re going to have to start paying players,” Ridpath said. “That doesn’t mean [Duke basketball coach] Mike Krzyzewski might have to get by on $2 million rather than $9 million. You could actually put in a rule that a president should at least get paid $1 more [than a coach].”

I’m sure Duke’s president would be totally fine with that.

Oh, and while they’re busy fixing salaries, North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham has another suggestion.

“Intercollegiate athletics does a very poor job with coaches contracts in general,” Cunningham said. “The pro leagues don’t have those issues. We have the issues other people don’t. Our buyouts are significant. … We need to be better in constructing our contracts. When we commit to a coach, a coach commits to an institution. And you can’t go other places.”

Bubba, nothing’s stopping you from offering that kind of deal to the next coach you want to hire.  Well, nothing except an open market setting.  A law to protect you from your own mediocrity sure would be handy.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

24 responses to ““There’s going to have to be some sort of systemic intervention…”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Oy. Donna, boobie, sweetie, just because somebody makes more than you doesn’t mean you have to pass a law about it. Envy and jealousy do not good policy rationales make.


  2. Derek

    Had an idea yesterday to solve all of these problems:

    The ncaa announces that all student athletes are eligible for draft consideration regardless of class AND that the professional leagues can contract with and pay players all while permitting continued college playing eligibility under the existing rules. The players can apply or not apply as they choose.

    Everything at the college level remains the same.

    So its just like a kid that plays college football while being under contract with the White Sox but they eliminate the distinction between different sports and the same sports.

    Under this scenario, the schools are not prohibiting these kids from making money off their talents. The nfl can decide who is worth paying and securing an interest in. Both can decide when it makes sense to leave college and play in the pro leagues.

    Problem solved. Hell, the nfl doesn’t even have to participate. (I think they would.) The ncaa can simply say, “we’ve opened that door and we’re not stopping anyone from making money on their talents. Now everyone just shut the fuck up. Moving on.”


  3. Bigshot

    Is Shalala mortified by what pro sports figures make? What about Hollywood movie stars? I’m mortified by what politicians make.


  4. Faltering Memory

    I’m mortified politucians don’t earn whatever they make.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tronan

    We need legislation to save us from ourselves. But ensure we keep our sinecures. Politicians and university administrators are the bottom of the chum bucket. Along with cable news “personalities” and ESPN.


    • Down Island Way

      Just cleaned the chum bucket on my boat from last weekend, there was still some slimmmmmmy stuff between the chum and the bottom of the bucket…it took an act of congress to get that slimmmmmmmy stuff to move


  6. Normaltown Mike

    “A law to protect you from your own mediocrity sure would be handy”

    This! The poor negotiations by President’s and AD’s is an indictment of the business model. The Raiders are a better run organization than most D1 powerhouse programs.


  7. Gaskilldawg

    The NFL players association probably would oppose it. It should since it would take money that could go to members of the
    NFL Players Association and giving it to nonmembers.


  8. Bright Idea

    How often were tuition and fees raised at Miami under her to take advantage of all the money raining from the government, laundered through students? Coaching salaries aren’t the only thing out of control concerning finances at colleges.


  9. JCDawg83

    Politicians getting involved with college athletics is the best way to make sure everyone is treated fairly. (sarcasm font enabled)


  10. ASEF

    Academics have been grousing about athletic salaries for decades. If you’ve been a university president, and you can’t get your library expansion funded because the boosters can’t stop throwing money at coaches and facilities, then the solution seems obvious: cap athletic spending. Especially if you see enough stories about locker room waterfalls and Charlie Weiss.

    Michigan had a requirement at one time that every dollar donated to athletics had to be matched by a dollar to academics. I have no idea if that continues or not.

    On the flip side, UM is a small private school that had an endowment of $40 mill in 1981 – and increased that 10x by 1987. 2003-2007 UM raised almost $1.5 billion to expand various programs and buy a hospital.

    Hmmm. What changed?


  11. Go Dawgs!

    Congresswoman Shalala, the overwhelming, crushing majority of Kirby Smart’s take home pay is not funded by the taxpayers of Georgia, and certainly not by federal tax dollars. He’s being paid by the University of Georgia Athletic Association which is funded by private donations, endorsement contracts, ad revenue, and money from the Southeastern Conference’s television and rights deals. That’s also the case for virtually every other Division I school. The government interfering with that just because you couldn’t get the University of Miami’s alumni to pony up the dough is foolish and wrong. It’s basically a private enterprise that’s associated with a public one.

    Now, your point about “we have to pay the players if this continues” is a good one! So instead of trying to control what coaches make, why don’t you force the NCAA to pay the players and let the market sort out what coaching salaries the schools can bear on top of player compensation. Don’t do something ridiculously unfair (government regulation of professionals’ salaries) in order to try to fix something else that’s unfair (schools profiting off of unpaid athletes).


    • Tony Barnfart

      Actually, I think the Group of 5 schools (still “D1”) operate at a loss when you don’t count the amount allocated from the university general fund, student fees and state funding. Most of the American Athletic schools run about $30million+ in actual operating losses. Now, for that category, I do have a little bit of a problem with these salaries that are approaching the 3-4million range.


      • Go Dawgs!

        Fair enough, I admit that when I said “D1” I was thinking of the Power 5 schools.

        Perhaps instead of wasting the people’s time in Congress, the leaders of the states with these Group of 5 schools could simply fire every single administrator who signs off on coaching contracts that put these schools deep in the red? It is simply not true that it’s impossible to run a football program without paying your head coach a million bucks. Ask Hawaii. Now sure, your coach may leave for a better job, and you may not be able to hire your first choice coach. But nobody is forcing you to live beyond your means. And we don’t need federal legislation to keep it from happening.


        • Go Dawgs!

          I guess my main argument is that if Southern Miss can’t compete with the University of Alabama then that’s Southern Miss’ problem and it’s not the United States of America’s problem.


    • Down Island Way

      “We have not been able to slow spending or expenditures.” What part of her resume qualifies her to on this particular topic……………i’m waiting


  12. rchris

    You could require the teams to be coached by unpaid student volunteers…..


  13. Butler Reynolds

    Price controls always work.


  14. Ozam

    Damn those free market forces!


  15. Russ

    How about any raise in coaching salary has to tied to a corresponding reduction in tuition?


  16. FlyingPeakDawg

    Less money for coaches, less tax dollars to the Feds. It’s like ECON 101 never existed.


  17. Or you could just pay the labor it’s value in a non-fixed market that would put resource constraints on what is available for the coaches thereby limiting the amount of $ you and your cohorts have available to spend on coaching salaries, therefore adjusting the market for them.


  18. UGA '97

    “It’s the SEC”s fault.” Someone want to ask her who Mark Richt is?