When you don’t have to pay the hired help – much, if you prefer a qualifier – life is so much nicer for the people at the top.
In a decade, tax records show, average commissioner pay in the so-called “Power Five” — the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern and Pacific-12 conferences — has soared from about $541,000 to $2.58 million. As a reward for making an industry fueled by unpaid athletes more lucrative than ever, the men who run these conferences have enjoyed staggering pay hikes doled out by the leaders of many of America’s largest universities.
In 2014, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott made $3.4 million, which is more than six times the $533,000 his predecessor made in 2004. (All 2004 figures in this story have been adjusted for inflation.) Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby made $2.3 million, more than quadruple the $495,000 the position paid a decade before.
While Scott and Bowlsby are still relatively new, three longtime commissioners saw their pay skyrocket from 2004 to 2014 to do the same job. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany’s pay jumped from $549,000 to $3.1 million; ACC Commissioner John Swofford’s went from $571,000 to more than $2 million; and former SEC Commissioner Michael Slive’s increased from $558,000 to $2.05 million. (Slive retired last year; his successor Greg Sankey’s pay has not yet been made public through tax filings.)
I think we can assume Sankey won’t be missing any meals. And judging from this quote, I doubt he cares what we think, anyway.
These guys don’t give a shit about anything except how to keep the money flow going – and they’re not really even particularly skilled at that. They’re arrogant because they can be.